Glycine attenuates Fanconi syndrome induced by maleate or ifosfamide in rats.
It has become widely recognized that glycine (Gly) depletion predisposes isolated proximal tubules (PT) to necrotic cell damage induced by diverse insults and that Gly replacement in vitro is highly cytoprotective. However, the effectiveness of supplementation with Gly in vivo, where blood and tissue Gly normally are maintained at high levels, is incompletely defined. Our aim was to assess whether: (a) supplementation of Gly in drinking water of rats would attenuate the proximal tubule damage and the Fanconi syndrome (FS) induced by maleate (Mal), a classical proximal tubule toxin, or ifosfamide (IFO), an antineoplastic drug; and (b) to explore the mechanisms responsible for such effects, since Gly supplementation might be especially beneficial in treating the FS, where the kidney tends to waste amino acids. Rats received daily injection of Mal (2 mmol/kg) for two days without or with oral supplementation of 2% Gly. IFO, 50 mg/kg, was injected daily for five days without or with oral Gly. Control rats were injected with saline, without or with oral Gly. The results demonstrated that both Mal and IFO induced a FS characterized by wasting of amino and organic acids, glucose, and electrolytes, along with elevated plasma creatinine (Crn) and BUN, and decreased Crn clearance rate. Light microscopy revealed a necrotic lesion in the proximal tubules of the Mal group, but no necrosis after IFO. Gly strongly ameliorated the severity of renal necrosis and/or dysfunction induced by Mal or IFO, with significant decreases in total and fractional excretion of Na+, K+, PO4(3-) and glucose, decreased plasma BUN and Crn, and increased Crn clearance. Analysis of freeze-clamped cortical tissue showed substantial depletion of [Gly], [ATP] and [GSH] along with increased GSSG in Mal or IFO groups and correction of [Gly] and [ATP] with Gly supplementation, but no improvement with Gly of reduced gluthatione [GSH] or the ratio of reduced to oxidized gluthatione (GSH/GSSG). 31P-NMR analysis of the renal cortex indicated a decrease in Pi and various membrane phospholipids in Mal and IFO rats and prevention of this damage with Gly. These observations demonstrate that oral supplementation of Gly can provide protection against Mal or IFO-induced renal tubular cell dysfunction and structural damage. The lack of effect on glutathione oxidation and depletion suggests an action distal to toxin uptake and intracellular interactions, which is similar to the characteristics of Gly cytoprotection against diverse insults in vitro. The results also suggest modification by Gly of the primary toxicity of the agents and effects on phospholipid synthesis that could contribute to repair.
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