Date of Completion

Spring 5-9-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Larry Renfro; Joseph Crivello; Jose Manautou


Animal Sciences | Biology | Poultry or Avian Science


In both humans and birds, urate is an important antioxidant when maintained at normal plasma concentrations. Though human kidneys primarily reabsorb filtered urate, while those of birds perform mostly secretion, both maintain urate levels at ~300microM. The importance of maintaining urate levels within the homeostatic range was observed when the study of several prominent diseases revealed an association with hyperuricemia.

This study examined the effect of elevated zinc concentration on avian urate secretion. Here, acute exposure of chicken proximal tubule epithelial cells (cPTCs) to zinc stress had no effect on urate secretion, but prolonged zinc-induced cellular stress inhibited active transepithelial urate secretion with no change in Mrp4 expression, glucose transport, or transepithelial resistance. Moreover, zinc had no effect on urate transport by isolated brush border membrane vesicles, suggesting involvement of a more complex cellular stress adaptation. Previous work has demonstrated that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical metabolic regulator, conserves energy during cellular stress by shutting down ATP-utilizing processes and activating ATP-generating processes.

Pharmacological activation of AMPK by AICAR produced decreased urate secretion by cPTCs similar to the effect seen with prolonged exposure to zinc, while the AMPK inhibitor Compound C prevented both AICAR and zinc inhibition of urate secretion, suggesting a stress induced mechanism of regulation.

Supported by NSF. IACUC #A08-046.