Jan 1, 1975

Biochemical aspects of renal ammonia formation in metabolic acidosis

D A Hems


In omnivorous creatures, the diet is acidogenic, especially as a result of the meat content, which gives rise to phosphoric and sulphuric acids, i.e., to metabolic acidosis. In the short term, metabolic acids are buffered by tissue proteins and bicarbonate (the 'alkali reserve'). In the longer term, acid must be excreted, or neutralized with base which is also generated from the diet, by conversion of dietary amino-nitrogen to ammonia. The final steps of this process occur in the kidney, which converts circulating glutamine to ammonia, and to carbon products such as glucose and carbon dioxide, by metabolic reactions which adapt during acidosis to generate more ammonia and maintain an increased renal ammonia content. The complex mechanisms which govern the formation of ammonia, glucose and carbon dioxide from glutamine, involving the reactions of amino acids, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and gluconeogenesis, are reviewed.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Amino Acids, I.V. solution additive
Glucose, (beta-D)-Isomer
Acute Disease
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Blood Ammonia Measurement

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