Sorbitol plays a major role in the maintenance of cell volume and functional integrity of several renal cells. Sorbitol synthesis takes place in inner collecting duct cells, whereas sorbitol dehydrogenase activity, which catalyzes the degradation of sorbiotol to fructose, could mainly be detected in renal inner medullary interstitial cells. Therefore, we supposed that interstitial cells would require a sorbitol transport into the cells. However, such a transport system has not yet been described. Therefore, we have characterized the uptake of sorbitol in immortalized interstitial TK-173 cells, which were derived from human renal fibroblasts. Comparable to fresh isolated renal fibroblasts of the rat, immortalized TK-173 cells have a high sorbitol dehydrogenase activity. In this report, a temperature-dependent sorbitol uptake with saturation kinetics could be detected in immortalized TK-173 cells. The transport is characterized by a high velocity (V<sub>max</sub> 84 mmol/l × h) and an apparent K<sub>m</sub> of 10 mmol/l. The sorbitol uptake is independent of membrane potential, sodium, and chloride. Altogether, the physiological characteristics of this sorbitol transport are different from those of the osmotically regulated sorbitol efflux from epithelial cells. These results provide evidence that TK-173 cells derived from renal fibroblasts have a specific sorbitol transport. Furthermore, these data suggest a cooperation between epithelial and interstitial cells concerning osmoregulation.