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[14C]Ornithine uptake by rat kidney mitochondria has been investigated according to the stop inhibitor method by using praseodimium chloride as an inhibitor. The existence of an ornithine/Pi exchange was found occurring with 1:1 stoichiometry. Both uptake and efflux follow first-order kinetics with a k of 2.4 min−1. Uptake increases with increasing pH. The activation energy for the process is 58.6 kJ/mol and Q10 is 2.6. Ornithine/Pi exchange is electrical and energy-dependent, as suggested by the sensitivity of the process to the ionophores valinomycin and nigericin. Measurements both of proton movement across the mitochondrial membrane and of membrane potential strongly suggest that ornithine uptake into mitochondria is driven by the electrochemical proton gradient via the dependent ornithine/Pi translocator and ΔpH-dependent Pi carrier.