, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 19-43

Dissociation of cellular K+ accumulation from net Na+ transport by toad urinary bladder

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A number of published data suggest a variable stoichiometry between the rates of cellular potassium uptake and net sodium transport (J Na) across the urinary bladder of the toad. This problem was examined by simultaneously studying the intracellular chemical activity of potassium (a K) with open-tip K+-selective microelectrodes and micropipets, and monitoringJ Na by measuring the short-circuit current (SCC). When bathed in the short-circuited state with solutions containing ana K of 2.7mm, the mean ±sem values for intracellulara K were 43±0.6mm.

Ouabain, at a concentration of 10−2 m, reduced intracellulara K by 56–67% and SCC by 96–100%. At 5×10−4 m, ouabain reversibly reduced intracellulara K by 40–55%, and SCC by 63–68%; the inhibition of SCC was only partly reversible during the period of observation.

Removal of external potassium reduced intracellulara K by 69–80% and SCC by 51–76%. Restoration of external potassium entirely returned intracellulara K to its control value, but only partially reversed the inhibition of SCC during the period of study. Furthermore, recovery ofa K began 19–43 min before that of SCC; recovery ofa K was 90–97% complete before any increase in SCC could be measured. Although other interpretations are possible, the simplest interpretation of the data is that the processes responsible for potassium accumulation and transepithelial sodium transport are not identical. We propose the existence of a separate transfer mechanism at the basolateral cell membrane, responsible for accumulating intracellular potassium, and not directly coupled to active sodium transport.