Induction of aldose reductase and sorbitol in renal inner medullary cells by elevated extracellular NaCl

S. M. Bagnasco, S. Uchida, R. S. Balaban, P. F. Kador, M. B. Burg

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Aldose reductase [aldehyde reductase 2; alditol:NAD(P)+ 1-oxidoreductase, EC] catalyzes conversion of glucose to sorbitol. Although its activity is implicated in the progression of ocular and neurological complications of diabetes, the normal function of the enzyme in most cells is unknown. Both aldose reductase activity and substantial levels of sorbitol were previously reported in renal inner medullary cells. In this tissue, the extracellular NaCl concentration normally is high and varies considerably depending on the urine concentration. We report here on a line of renal medullary cells in which medium that is high in NaCl greatly increases both aldose reductase activity and intracellular sorbitol. In these tissue culture cells (and presumably also in the renal inner medulla), the intracellular sorbitol helps balance the osmotic pressure of elevated extracellular NaCl and thus prevents cellular dehydration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1718-1720
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 30 1987


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