The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 195–220 | Cite as

Pathways for movement of ions and water across toad urinary bladder

II. Site and mode of action of vasopressin
  • Mortimer M. Civan
  • Donald R. DiBona


Application of either mucosal hypertonicity or serosal hypotonicity increases the electrical conductance of toad urinary bladder by altering the permeability of the apical intercellular junctions which are rate-limiting to transepithelial flow of ions and water between the cells. Prior addition of vasopressin has been found to inhibit both the electrical and morphologic effects. In the presence of mucosal hypertonicity, the hormone also induces shrinkage of the granular cells, with no perceptible change in the volume of the other epithelial cells. The skin ofXenopus laevis is similarly responsive to increases in tonicity of the outer bathing medium but here, where vasopressin exerts a natriferic but not a hydroosmotic effect, hormone administration does not inhibit the osmotically induced electrical and morphologic changes. These results may be interpreted within the framework of current concepts concerning the granular cell response to vasopressin and the response of the limiting junctions to transepithelial osmotic gradients. Vasopressin facilitates hydroosmotic flow in either direction across the epithelium, specifically by increasing the water permeability of the luminal-facing plasma membrane of the granular cells.


Epithelial Cell Electrical Conductance Morphologic Change Cell Response Vasopressin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mortimer M. Civan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Donald R. DiBona
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphia
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBoston
  3. 3.Departments of Anatomy and MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBoston

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