The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 183–193 | Cite as

Stimulation of gallbladder fluid and electrolyte absorption by butyrate

  • Karl-Uwe Petersen
  • John R. Wood
  • Gerhard Schulze
  • Konrad Heintze


Gallbladder fluid and electrolyte transport was investigatedin vitro. In guinea pig gallbladder, equimolar substitution of acetate, propionate, butyrate or valerate for HCO3 was increasingly effective in stimulating fluid absorption. The stimulatory potency of these compounds was a function of their chloroform water partition coefficients. The stimulatory effects of the isomers isobutyrate and isovalerate were less than predicted from their partition coefficients. Acidification of the gallbladder lumen, however, was strictly dependent on the partition coefficients for all of the above fatty acids. Unidirectional22Na fluxes were measured in rabbit and guinea pig gallbladders under short-circuit conditions. In the presence of butyrate stimulation of net Na flux was due entirely to an increase in the mucosal-to-serosal Na flux. Stimulation by butyrate was abolished by its omission from the mucosal bathing solution. The transepithelial electrical potential difference in both rabbit and guinea pig gallbladder became more lumen positive following mucosal but not serosal addition of butyrate. Net14C-butyrate fluxes were too small to account for stimulation of Na absorption in either species. Butyrate stimulation of Na absorption by guinea pig gallbladder was abolished by increasing the bathing pH from 7.4 to 8.1. Tris buffer (25mm) partially inhibited butyrate-dependent gallbladder fluid absorption by rabbit and guinea pig at pH 6.4 and 7.0, respectively, and completely at pH 8.4. These results reveal a marked similarity between butyrate and HCO3 stimulation of gallbladder NaCl and fluid absorption. The results are best explained by a double ion-exchange model, in which butyrate (HCO3) in the mucosal solution acts to maintain the intracellular supply of H+ and butyrate (HCO3) for countertransport of Na and Cl, respectively.

Key words

gallbladder NaCl absorption HCO3 short-chain fatty acids Na/H-exchange HCO3/Cl-Exchange active transport 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl-Uwe Petersen
    • 1
  • John R. Wood
    • 1
  • Gerhard Schulze
    • 1
  • Konrad Heintze
    • 1
  1. 1.Abtellung Pharmakologie der Medizinischen Fakultät der Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technischen HochschuleAachenWest Germany

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