The role of the renal organic anion transporters OAT1 (also known as SLC22A6, originally identified as NKT) and OAT3 (also known as SLC22A8) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains poorly understood. This is particularly so from the viewpoint of residual proximal tubular secretion, a key adaptive mechanism to deal with protein-bound uremic toxins in CKD. Using the subtotal nephrectomy (STN) model, plasma metabolites accumulating in STN rats treated with and without the OAT inhibitor, probenecid, were identified. Comparisons with metabolomics data from Oat1-KO and Oat3-KO mice support the centrality of the OATs in residual tubular secretion of uremic solutes, such as indoxyl sulfate, kynurenate, and anthranilate. Overlapping our data with those of published metabolomics data regarding gut microbiome–derived uremic solutes — which can have dual roles in signaling and toxicity — indicates that OATs play a critical role in determining their plasma levels in CKD. Thus, the OATs, along with other SLC and ABC drug transporters, are critical to the movement of uremic solutes across tissues and into various body fluids, consistent with the remote sensing and signaling theory. The data support a role for OATs in modulating remote interorganismal and interorgan communication (gut microbiota–blood-liver-kidney-urine). The results also have implications for understanding drug-metabolite interactions involving uremic toxins.
Kevin T. Bush, Prabhleen Singh, Sanjay K. Nigam