Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The size of the extracellular space in the isolated midgut ofManduca sexta

  • 22 Accesses

  • 5 Citations


The size of the extracellular space in the isolated midgut ofManduca sexta measured statically with labeled sucrose and with labeled inulin was 48 and 50 percent of tissue water respectively. Both labeled sulfate and labeled mannitol yielded loading spaces which approached the volume of the tissue water with increasing pulse time and are not valid markers of the extracellular space. A washout method yielded unreliable values for the sucrose and inulin spaces and its use cannot be justified using presently available midgut chamber designs. Values of the sucrose space measured statistically in this study and other studies using different Lepidopteran larvae and different perfusion chambers range from 42 to 48 percent of the tissue water. Agreement between published values of the sulfate space and these values of the sucrose space is fortuitous, the labeling pulses being short enough to yield approximately half saturation of the actual sulfate loading space.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abrahamsohn, P. A., Lash, J. W., Kosher, R. A. and Minor, R. R. (1975). The ubiquitous occurrence of chondroitin sulfates in chick embryos.J. exp. Zool. 194: 511–518.

  2. Ahrens, P. B., Solursh, M. and Meier, S., (1977). The synthesis and localization of glycosaminoglycans in striated muscle differentiating in cell culture.J. exp. Zool. 202: 375–388.

  3. Anderson, E. and Harvey, W. R., (1966). Active transport by Cecropia Midgut II. Fine structure of midgut epithelium.J. Cell Biol. 31: 107–134.

  4. Blankemeyer, J. T., (1976). The route of active potassium ion transport in the midgut ofHyalophora cecropia andManduca sexta.Ph.D. Thesis, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

  5. Blankemeyer, J. T., and Harvey, W. R. (1977). Insect midgut as a model epithelium. InWater Relations in Membrane Transport in Plants and Animals (ed. A. M. Jungreis, T. K. Hodges, A. Kleinzeller and S. G. Schultz) 161–182. New York and London: Academic Press.

  6. Blankemeyer, J. T. and Harvey, W. R. (1978). Identification of active cell in potassium transporting epithelium.J. exp. Biol. (in press).

  7. Cioffi, M. (1979). The morphology and fine structure of the midgut ofManduca sexta in relation to active ion transport. (To be submitted toTissue &Cell).

  8. Davson, H. (1959).A textbook of General Physiology. Little, Brown & Co., Boston: 846 pp.

  9. Giordanna, B. and Sacchi, F., (1977). Extracellular space values and intracellular ionic concentrations in the isolated midgut ofPhilosamia cynthia andBombyx mori.Experientia 33: 1065–1066.

  10. Harvey, W. R. and Wood, J. L. (1973). The route of cation transport across the silkworm midgut. InTransport Mechanisms in Epithelia (ed. H. H. Ussing and N. A. Thorn) 342–359. Copenhagen: Munskgaard and New York: Academic Press.

  11. Harvey, W. R. and Zerahn, K. (1972). Active transport of potassium and other alkali metals by the isolated midgut of the silkworm. InCurrent Topics in Membranes and Transport vol. III (ed. F. Bronner and A. Kleinzeller). 367–410. New York and London: Academic Press.

  12. Matsumura, S. and Oka, T. (1935). Physiological studies on the carbohydrases of the silkworm.Bull. Nagano-Ken Seric. Exp. Sta. 31: 1–32 (cited in Ito, T. and Tanaka, M., (1959), Beta-glucosidase of the midgut of the silkwormBombyx mori.Biol. Bull., Woods Hole 116: 95–105.

  13. Moffett, D. F., (1979). Bathing solution tonicity and potassium transport by the midgut of the tobacco hornwormManduca sexta L.J. exp. Biol. (in press).

  14. Pardee, A. B. (1968). Membrane transport proteins.Science 162: 632–637.

  15. Pitts, R. F., (1968). Physiology of the kidney and body fluids. Year book Medical Publishers, Chicago: 266 pp.

  16. Wolfersberger, M. G. and Pieringer, R. A. (1974). Metabolism of sulfoquinovosyl digliceride inChlorella pyrenoidosa by sulfoquinovosyl monoglyceride: fatty acyl CoA acyltransferase and sulfoquinovosyl glyceride: fatty acyl ester hydrolase pathways.J. Lipid Res: 1–10.

  17. Wood, J. L., (1972). Some aspects of active potassium transport by the midgut of the silkworm,Antheraea pernyi. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Cambridge.

  18. Wood, J. L. and Moreton, R. B. (1978). Refinements in the short-circuit technique and its application to active potassium transport across the Cecropia midgut.J. exp. Biol. (in press).

  19. Yamamoto, R. T., (1969). Mass rearing of the tobacco hornworm II. Larval rearing and pupation.J. Econ. Entomol. 62: 1427–1431.

  20. Young, R. W. (1973). The role of the Golgi complex in sulfate metabolism.J. Cell. Biol. 57: 175–189.

  21. Zerahn, K., (1975). Potassium exchange between bathing solution and midgut ofHyalophora cecropia and the time delay for potassium flux through the midgut.J. exp. Biol. 54: 47–52.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Abramcheck, F.J., Blankemeyer, J.T. & Harvey, W.R. The size of the extracellular space in the isolated midgut ofManduca sexta . J Biol Phys 8, 32–44 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02250941

Download citation


  • Mannitol
  • Inulin
  • Extracellular Space
  • Pulse Time
  • Tissue Water