Modeling glucose metabolism and lactate production in the kidney.
The metabolism of glucose provides most of the ATP required for energy-dependent transport processes. In the inner medulla of the mammalian kidney, limited blood flow and O2 supply yield low oxygen tension; therefore, a substantial fraction of the glucose metabolism in that region is anaerobic. Lactate is considered to be a waste product of anaerobic glycolysis, which yields two lactate molecules for each glucose molecule consumed, thereby likely leading to the production and accumulation of a significant amount of lactate in the inner medulla. To gain insights into the transport and metabolic processes in the kidney, we have developed a detailed mathematical model of the renal medulla of the rat kidney. The model represents the radial organization of the renal tubules and vessels, which centers around the vascular bundles in the outer medulla and around clusters of collecting ducts in the inner medulla. Model simulations yield significant radial gradients in interstitial fluid oxygen tension and glucose and lactate concentrations in the outer medulla and upper inner medulla. In the deep inner medulla, interstitial fluid concentrations become much more homogeneous, as the radial organization of tubules and vessels is not distinguishable. Using this model, we have identified parameters concerning glucose transport and basal metabolism, as well as lactate production via anaerobic glycolysis, that yield predicted blood glucose and lactate concentrations consistent with experimental measurements in the papillary tip. In addition, simulations indicate that the radial organization of the rat kidney may affect lactate buildup in the inner medulla.
Chen, Y; Fry, BC; Layton, AT
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