The intracellular compartmentation of glutathione (GSH) in rabbit renal proximal tubules under various conditions was examined using the digotonin fractionation technique. Tubules with GSH contents similar to those found in vivo (13.4 ± 0.8 nmol · mg protein-1) and with decreasing amounts of GSH had an apparently constant mitochondrial GSH pool of 1.9 ± 0.1 nmol · mg protein-1. This renal mitochondrial GSH pool is similar in size to that of hepatic mitochondria and represents 10 to 15 percent of the total cellular GSH. Using phorone and diethyl maleate to decrease tubular GSH concentrations, the cytosolic GSH pool could be depleted without affecting the mitochondrial GSH pool. Depletion of the cytosolic GSH pool and decreases in the mitochondrial pool of up to 42 percent were not associated with mitochondrial dysfunction nor loss of tubular viability.
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