Aminoglycosides are antibiotics widely used for their bactericidal activity, but unfortunately their prolonged treatment induce severe renal disturbances. In this article we revise the mechanisms of transport, internalisation and accumulation of aminoglycosides in renal tubular cells. In addition we describe how they affect some enzimatics systems (Phospholipase C, Phospholipase A2, Na-K-ATPase) and the production of nephrotoxic mediators such as PAF, thromboxans, NO and oxygen free radicals. Finally we show the effect of aminoglycosides in the glomeruli. The knowledge of these mechanisms is very important to design experimental therapeutics strategies to decrease the toxicity of these compounds.
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