Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 406, Issue 5, pp 509–519 | Cite as

Absorption and secretion of potassium by rabbit descending colon

  • Herbert Plass
  • Andrea Gridl
  • Klaus Turnheim
Transport Processes, Metabolism and Endocrinology; Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Exocrine Glands


Measurements of K fluxes under a variety of conditions have provided an internally consistent set of data that demonstrate active absorption and active secretion of K by rabbit descending colon in vitro. The properties of K diffusion across the paracellular pathway are those of a free solution shunt. With Na and Cl present on both sides of short-circuited tissues the two opposing active K transport systems balance each other, so that there is no net K transport. Net K absorption results when the transcellular secretory K flux is inhibited by 1. serosal addition of ouabain, 2. serosal addition of furosemide, or 3. omission of either Na or Cl from the serosal solution. Hence basolateral K uptake appears to be mediated by a furosemide-sensitive Na−Cl−K cotransport system in addition to the Na−K exchange pump. Luminal addition of mersalyl or orthovanadate inhibits active K absorption. The adenosine analogue 5′-N-ethylcarboxamide adenosine and the β-adrenergic agent isoproterenol, added to the serosal solution, cause net K secretion which is inhibitable by furosemide. The secretory K fluxes, both under stimulated and non-stimulated conditions, are abolished by an opposing electrical gradient, suggesting conductive K exit across the apical cell membrane, whereas K absorption appears to be an electroneutral process.

Key words

Colonic epithelium Potassium absorption Potassium secretion Intestinal electrolyte transport Sodium-chloride-potassium cotransport Paracellular pathway furosemide 5′-N-ethylcarboxamide adenosine (NECA) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Plass
    • 1
  • Andrea Gridl
    • 1
  • Klaus Turnheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmakologisches InstitutUniversität WienViennaAustria

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