Potassium depletion induces increased membrane phospholipid formation and renal growth in rats. To determine the mechanism by which potassium depletion augments phospholipid formation, the metabolism of radioactive choline, a precursor of choline-containing phospholipids, was studied in renal slices. Cortical and medullary tissue from potassium-depleted and control animals accumulated extracellular choline and sequentially converted it to phosphorylcholine, cytidine diphosphocholine (CDP-choline), and choline phosphoglyceride, thereby demonstrating that renal cells can utilize the Kennedy pathway for phospholipid synthesis. [14C]Choline uptake into intracellular fluid was increased in cortical slices from potassium-depleted animals. The apparent Km and Vmax of the kinase reaction which converts entering [14C]choline to [14C]phosphorylcholine were unchanged during potassium depletion. The rate of [14C]phosphorylcholine conversion to [14C]CDP-choline was also unchanged. In contrast, the Vmax of [14C]choline phosphoglyceride formation from [14C]CDP-choline was increased, whereas the apparent Km for this reaction was unchanged. These results indicate that increased renal choline phosphoglyceride formation during potassium depletion can occur via the Kennedy pathway and appears to be mediated by increases in choline uptake and the rate of CDP-choline incorporation into phospholipid, the first and last steps of the pathway.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Physiological Society