The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 99–115 | Cite as

Barriers to sodium movement across frog skin

  • J. H. Moreno
  • I. L. Reisin
  • E. Rodríguez Boulan
  • C. A. Rotunno
  • M. Cereijido


The aim of this paper is to obtain information on the number, nature and location of the barriers to Na movement across the frog skin, and on the size and location of the Na-pool that might be contained between these barriers. On the basis that Na penetrates passively across an outer barrier, and is actively extruded across an inner barrier which is impermeable to passive movements of Na, we expected to detect at least the Na-pool of a single cell layer containing some 10−8 moles per cm2 of epithelium (i.e., in a cell layer 5 μ thick and with 21mm Na). Yet no Na-pool with these characteristics was found. The method employed could have detected a Na-pool at least an order of magnitude smaller than the one expected. It is concluded that either a Na-pool does not exist (except for the Na bound to the mechanisms operating the translocation), or else that the Na-pool is contained between barriers with different characteristics than the ones assumed above. In the first case, Na transportacross the epithelium would consist of a translocation across a single asymmetrical functional “barrier”. In the second case, the experimental results would require that ouabain either directly (by inhibiting an active step) or indirectly (through a mediated decrease of the Na permeability of the outer barrier) prevents Na penetration at the outer border.


Sodium Single Cell Human Physiology Cell Layer Ouabain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Moreno
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. L. Reisin
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Rodríguez Boulan
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. A. Rotunno
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Cereijido
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Physical ChemistryUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Dept. of BiophysicsC.I.M.A.E.Buenos AiresArgentina

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