Membrane transport function in primary cultures of human proximal tubular cells

Toxicology. 2006 Dec 7;228(2-3):200-18. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2006.08.035. Epub 2006 Sep 1.


To further develop primary cultures of human proximal tubular (hPT) cells for study of drug disposition, we determined kinetics and protein expression of several key transporters for organic anions and cations, peptides, and neutral amino acids. p-Aminohippurate uptake exhibited similar kinetics as published values, was inhibited by cephaloridine, cimetidine, methotrexate, and urate, consistent with function of both organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1) and OAT3. Transport rates by organic cation transporters (OCTs) were up to three-fold higher than those of OATs. Of the OCT substrates tested, triethanolamine exhibited the highest transport rates across the basolateral membrane (BLM). OCTN1 exhibited high-affinity, low-capacity BLM transport of l-carnitine. Glycylsarcosine transport by PepT2 was rapid and comparable to that of OCTs. Amino acid System L on the BLM exhibited comparable kinetic parameters for transport of l-leucine as the OATs. Efflux of verapamil across the brush-border membrane by P-glycoprotein was very rapid. Expression of carriers was generally maintained throughout 5 days of culture. Of the four OAT proteins studied (OAT1-4), expression of OAT1 and OAT3 was the most readily detected and exhibited interindividual variation. OCTN2 was the major OCT in hPT cells. Expression was also quantified for multidrug resistance-associated proteins 2 and 5 and P-glycoprotein. These results show that primary cultures of hPT cells express a diverse array of transporters for major classes of important drugs and are suitable for study of drug transport and disposition and assessment of potential drug-drug interactions in human kidney.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B / metabolism
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biological Transport, Active / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Cation Transport Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Leucine / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microvilli / drug effects
  • Microvilli / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Organic Anion Transport Protein 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transport Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent / metabolism
  • Symporters / metabolism
  • Verapamil / pharmacology


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Organic Anion Transport Protein 1
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent
  • Symporters
  • hydrogen-coupled oligopeptide transporter PepT2
  • organic anion transport protein 3
  • Verapamil
  • Leucine