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Specific and Non-specific Competition in Tubular Excretion


A CONSIDERABLE number of aromatic acids are known to be excreted by the renal tubules. The chemical structure of these compounds shows much variety, and it does not seem easy to find any property common to them which is not also shared by substances not excreted by the tubules. However, in every case hitherto investigated, the tubular excretion of any anion is reversibly depressed by the presence of considerable amounts of other anions excreted by the tubules. This effect is usually demonstrated by the use of "Diodrast" or hippuric acid as the depressing agent. The phenomenon is often regarded as an indication that the excretion of these compounds is effected by a common mechanism, or by intimately linked mechanisms.

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SPERBER, I. Specific and Non-specific Competition in Tubular Excretion. Nature 161, 236–237 (1948).

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