Urea transport in the collecting duct of rats on normal and low protein diet

  • K. J. Ullrich
  • G. Rumrich
  • B. Schmidt-Nielsen


In order to evaluate whether an active transport of urea exists across the collecting duct epithelia of rats the following experiments were performed. Under conditions, where the net transtubular transport of urea, water, and other solutes was zero, the unidirectional flux of C14-urea out of the collecting duct and the urea concentration difference between collecting duct fluid and vasa recta plasma were measured. The following results were obtained
  1. 1.

    In rats on low protein diet the unidirectional outflux of urea was 73% higher than in rats on normal diet and 85% higher than in rats on high protein diet.

  2. 2.

    Under steady-state conditions with zero net flux the urea concentration ratio of collecting duct fluid to vasa recta plasma water was 0.84 in rats on low protein diet and 0.99 in rats on normal diet.

  3. 3.

    During free flow the urea concentration ratio of collecting duct fluid to vasa recta plasma water was 1.06 in low protein and 1.33 in normal rats.


The data indicate that in normal animals the urea transport across the collecting duct wall is passive while in rats on low protein diet an active outward transport is superimposed.


Urea Protein Diet Normal Diet Concentration Difference Normal Animal 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. J. Ullrich
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Rumrich
    • 1
  • B. Schmidt-Nielsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWestern Reserve UniversityCleveland
  2. 2.Physiologisches Institut der Freien UniversitätBerlin 33

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