Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 395, Issue 2, pp 145–151 | Cite as

Cellular and membrane events involved in the K-induced increase in water permeability of toad skin

  • A. Grosso
  • D. Brown
  • R. C. de Sousa
Transport Processes, Metabolism and Endocrinology; Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Exocrine Glands


Exposure of the inner surface of toad skin (Bufo marinus) to high [K+] resulted in a marked (up to 7-fold) increase in water permeability (Pf) that was more marked in KCl-Ringer than in K2SO4-Ringer. Although high [K+] did not clicit a maximal increase inPf, it blunted the hydrosmotic responses to vasopressin, isoproterenol and cAMP. Both “post-cAMP” inhibitors of stimulated water flow, such as diamide and vanadate, and “pre-cAMP” inhibitors, such as methohexital and propranolol, markedly reduced the K response, while exposure to Ca2+-free, KCl-Ringer did not inhibit water flow. Intramembrane particle aggregates, similar to those induced by cAMP-mediated hydrosmotic agents, were seen in the apical membrane of granular cells, just beneath thestratum corneum, in skins exposed to KCl. Available evidence indicates that cAMP might mediate, at least partially, the hydrosmotic effect of high [K+]. In contrast, a role of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, described in other cell systems depolarized with K, was not apparent in toad skin.

Key words

Water transport Toad skin Potassium depolarization Cyclic AMP Vasopressin Isoproterenol Intramembrane particle aggregates Freeze-fracture 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Grosso
    • 1
  • D. Brown
    • 2
  • R. C. de Sousa
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyInstitute of Histology and Embryology, Centre Médical Universitaire (CMU)Geneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.Department of MorphologyInstitute of Histology and Embryology, Centre Médical Universitaire (CMU)Geneva 4Switzerland
  3. 3.Department of MedicineHôpital CantonalGeneva 4Switzerland

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