Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 393, Issue 3, pp 210–214 | Cite as

Electrophysiological analysis of rat renal sugar and amino acid transport

IV. Basic amino acids
  • I. Samaržija
  • E. Frömter
Transport Processes, Metabolism and Endocrinology; Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Exocrine Glands


Electrophysiological techniques were used to study the transport of the basic amino acidsl-arginine,l-lysine andl-ornithine in rat kidney proximal tubule in vivo. Tubular cells were punctured with microelectrodes and the response of the cell membrane potential to sudden applications of the amino acids was measured. In the presence of physiological Na+ concentrations luminal perfusions with millimolar concentrations of basic amino acids depolarized the tubular cells in a concentration dependent fashion by up to 15 mV, while in the absence of Na+ no significant potential changes were observed. These observations indicate that the basic amino acids are taken up into the cell across the brushborder in coupling with Na+ ions in a similar way as neutral and acidic amino acids, and that simple conductive pathways for uncoupled flow of the basic amino acids do either not exist or are quantitatively negligible in the brushborder. From kinetic measurements and competition experiments it was concluded that all basic amino acids are transported by the same transport system, which however does not accept acidic or neutral amino acids (with the possible exception ofl-cystine). Perfusion of the peritubular capillaries with millimolar concentrations of basic amino acids depolarized the cells only by approximately 1 mV, both in the presence and absence of Na+. This observation may indicate that a passive uncoupled transport pathway for basic amino acids is present in the peritubular cell membrane to allow exit from cell to interstitial space, if the intracellular concentration rises high enough to overcome the cell membrane potential.

Key words

Rat proximal tubule Transport of basic amino acids Electrophysiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Samaržija
    • 2
  • E. Frömter
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für BiophysikFrankfurt 70Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Centar zu Hemodijalizu i NefrologijuZagrebYugoslavia

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