Effects of NaCl, glucose, and aldose reductase inhibitors on cloning efficiency of renal medullary cells

P. H. Yancey, M. B. Burg, S. M. Bagnasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


To analyze the effects of sorbitol accumulation on the survival and growth of epithelial cells from rabbit renal inner medulla, cloning efficiency (an index of cell viability) was measured at normal and high glucose and NaCl concentrations and when sorbitol accumulation was prevented by Tolrestat and Sorbinil, which inhibit aldose reductase. With PAP-HT25 cells grown to near confluence, high NaCl increases aldose reductase activity, causing enough rise in cell sorbitol concentration to balance most of the increased osmolality of the high extracellular NaCl. Inhibition of aldose reductase prevents both the increased enzyme activity and sorbitol accumulation in a dose-related manner. Paralleling this, colony-forming efficiency is not affected by the inhibitors at a normal NaCl concentration but is greatly reduced when extracellular NaCl is high. On the other hand, high glucose levels, as occur in diabetes, increase sorbitol content well above the concentration required for osmotic balance and inhibit colony-forming efficiency. Under those conditions, aldose reductase inhibitors lower cell sorbitol and reverse (at 300-350 mosmol/kgH2O) or reduce (at 500-550 mosmol/kgH2O) the decrease in colony-forming efficiency caused by high glucose. Thus sorbitol accumulation is necessary for osmoregulation when induced by high osmolality but is harmful when induced by high glucose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C156-C163
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1 27-1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Sorbinil
  • Tolrestat
  • cell volume
  • colony-forming efficiency
  • diabetes
  • intracellular milieu
  • organic osmolyte
  • osmoregulation
  • plating efficiency
  • rabbit kidney
  • sorbitol
  • tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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