The development of satisfactory cell culture models for the study of parathyroid hormone (PTH)-induced inhibition of Pi transport has proven difficult. Using subcellular fractionation techniques we investigated the response of primary cultures of rat proximal tubular cells to PTH-(1-34). Specific binding of 125I-bPTH-(1-34) occurred at 2 degrees C. After 5 min of rewarming, trypsin-releasable radioactivity decreased from 90 to 50%, indicating internalization of the ligand. Cell disruption, followed by density centrifugation with 17% Percoll either directly after binding at 2 degrees C or post-rewarming for 20 min, showed a shift of 125I label from the plasma membrane (5′-nucleotidase) to lysosomal fractions (beta-D-glucosaminidase), confirming the sequential occurrence of cell surface binding, internalization and transport to lysosomes of 125I-bPTH-(1-34). Reculture at 37 degrees C revealed steady accumulation of trichloroacetic acid-soluble radioactivity in the medium, indicating degradation of 125I-bPTH-(1-34). Phosphate transport in the absence of sodium was minimal. Incubation of the cells with bPTH-(1-34) resulted in up to 50% inhibition of sodium-dependent phosphate transport. Prior phosphate depletion abrogated the response to PTH.

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