Comparative effects of phlorizin and phloretin on glucose transport in the cat kidney

Stephen S. Chan, William D. Lotspeich


The net tubular reabsorption of glucose (TG) was measured simultaneously in both kidneys of the cat before, during, and after the infusion of small amounts of phlorizin and phloretin at constant rates into one renal artery. Experiments were performed at endogenous and elevated blood glucose levels. The results show that phlorizin blocks glucose transport across the renal tubule at concentrations in renal blood and tissue in the range of 10–5 to 10–7 m. These estimates agree with those for dog kidney in vivo and hamster small intestine in vitro. In addition to this high affinity of phlorizin for the tubular glucose carrier, the experiments also reveal the easily dissociable nature of the phlorizin carrier complex. When blood glucose is elevated the TG is even more sensitive to small concentrations of phlorizin. At all blood glucose levels the aglucone, phloretin, is at least ten times less effective in inhibiting TG than phlorizin itself. These findings are discussed in relation to critical groupings in the phlorizin molecule.