Renal handling of phenol red. II. The mechanism of substituted phenolsulphophthalein (PSP) dye transport in rabbit kidney tubules in vitro

J Physiol. 1976 Mar;256(1):175-95. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1976.sp011319.


1. The uptake of various substituted phenolsulphophthalein dyes by cortical slices of rabbit kidney has been studied in detail in order to obtain more information on the secretory system for organic anions. 2. The rate of initial uptake of dyes and the accumulation after incubation for 2 hr under aerobic conditions increased in the order: phenol red (PR) greater than bromophenol blue (BPB) greater than bromocresol green (BCG) greater than bromothymol blue (BTB), while the reverse order of uptake was observed under anaerobic conditions. There was no difference between the uptake of BTB under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. 3. The accumulation of dyes under anaerobic conditions could be accounted for by binding to tissue constituents. In comparison with PR (Sheikh, 1972), the substituted dyes were found to interact extensively with the 700 G (cell membranes) and cytosol fractions of renal homogenates. 4. Low concentrations of the substituted dyes efficiently inhibited the accumulation of rho-aminohippurate (PAH). The concentration of dye resulting in 50% inhibition of PAH accumulation (KI) agreed well with concentrations estimated to sustain 50% of maximal dye transport (KM). On this basis the affinity of the dyes for the transport system increases in the order: PR less than BPB less than BCG less than BTB. 5. Probenecid, 2,4-dinitrophenol, PAH, octanoate and succinate affected to a smaller extent the uptake and binding of BPB and BCG by renal tissue than that previously shown for PR (Sheikh, 1972). No inhibitory effect of these substances on the accumulation of BTB by kidney tissue was observed. 6. The binding of PSP dyes by phospholipid vesicles (liposomes) and a representative binding protein, human serum albumin, exhibited close similarity to that of binding by renal tissue. Partition experiments involving octanol-water phases indicated that the hydrophobicity of the dyes increased in the order: PR less than BPB less than BCG less than BTB. 7. The results indicate that BTB, despite its inhibitory potency, is not transported by the organic anion system. BPB and BCG are transported to a lesser extent, and interact more strongly with the transport system than does PR. It is suggested that the substituted dyes by virtue of hydrophobic interaction with the transport system reduce the movement of the mobile part of the transport system.

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Aminohippuric Acids / metabolism
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Bromcresol Green / metabolism
  • Bromphenol Blue / metabolism
  • Bromthymol Blue / metabolism
  • Caprylates / pharmacology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Dinitrophenols / pharmacology
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Phenolphthaleins / metabolism*
  • Phenolsulfonphthalein / metabolism*
  • Probenecid / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • Succinates / pharmacology


  • Aminohippuric Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Dinitrophenols
  • Phenolphthaleins
  • Succinates
  • Bromphenol Blue
  • Bromcresol Green
  • Phenolsulfonphthalein
  • Probenecid
  • Bromthymol Blue