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Aristolochic Acid I Metabolism in the Isolated Perfused Rat Kidney

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journal contribution
posted on 13.01.2012, 00:00 by Horacio A. Priestap, M. Cecilia Torres, Robert A. Rieger, Kathleen G. Dickman, Tomoko Freshwater, David R. Taft, Manuel A. Barbieri, Charles R. Iden
Aristolochic acids are natural nitro-compounds found globally in the plant genus Aristolochia that have been implicated in the severe illness in humans termed aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN). Aristolochic acids undergo nitroreduction, among other metabolic reactions, and active intermediates arise that are carcinogenic. Previous experiments with rats showed that aristolochic acid I (AA-I), after oral administration or injection, is subjected to detoxication reactions to give aristolochic acid Ia, aristolactam Ia, aristolactam I, and their glucuronide and sulfate conjugates that can be found in urine and feces. Results obtained with whole rats do not clearly define the role of liver and kidney in such metabolic transformation. In this study, in order to determine the specific role of the kidney on the renal disposition of AA-I and to study the biotransformations suffered by AA-I in this organ, isolated kidneys of rats were perfused with AA-I. AA-I and metabolite concentrations were determined in perfusates and urine using HPLC procedures. The isolated perfused rat kidney model showed that AA-I distributes rapidly and extensively in kidney tissues by uptake from the peritubular capillaries and the tubules. It was also established that the kidney is able to metabolize AA-I into aristolochic acid Ia, aristolochic acid Ia O-sulfate, aristolactam Ia, aristolactam I, and aristolactam Ia O-glucuronide. Rapid demethylation and sulfation of AA-I in the kidney generate aristolochic acid Ia and its sulfate conjugate that are voided to the urine. Reduction reactions to give the aristolactam metabolites occur to a slower rate. Renal clearances showed that filtered AA-I is reabsorbed at the tubules, whereas the metabolites are secreted. The unconjugated metabolites produced in the renal tissues are transported to both urine and perfusate, whereas the conjugated metabolites are almost exclusively secreted to the urine.

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