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Organic anion transporters (OAT1 and OAT3) and multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRP2 and MRP4) play important roles in anionic drug secretion in renal proximal tubules. Changes in the expression of such transporters are considered to affect the tubular secretion of anionic drugs. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the developmental changes in the expression of OAT1, OAT3, MRP2, and MRP4 and their effects on the tubular secretion of drugs. The mRNA level of each transporter was measured by real-time PCR, and the protein expression was evaluated by Western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, the tubular secretion of phenolsulfonphthalein (PSP) in infant (postnatal day 14) and adult rats was estimated based on in vivo clearance study. The protein expression of organic anion transporters were very low at postnatal day 0 and gradually increased with age. In postnatal day 14 rats, the expression of OAT1 and OAT3 seemed to be at almost mature levels, while MRP2 and MRP4 seemed to be at immature levels. Immunohistochemical analysis in the kidney of postnatal day 0 rats revealed OATs on the basolateral membrane and MRPs on the brush-border membrane. At postnatal day 0, the distribution of these transporters was restricted to the inner cortical region, while after postnatal day 14, it was identical to that in adult kidney. An in vivo clearance study revealed that the tubular secretion of PSP was significantly lower in postnatal day 14 rats than adult rats. These results indicate that age-dependent changes in organic anion transporter expression affect the tubular secretion of anionic drugs in pediatric patients.


Maki Nomura, Hideyuki Motohashi, Hiroko Sekine, Toshiya Katsura, Ken-ichi Inui. Developmental expression of renal organic anion transporters in rat kidney and its effect on renal secretion of phenolsulfonphthalein. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology. 2012 Jun 15;302(12):F1640-9

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PMID: 22419695

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