Water Absorption in the Proximal Tubule: Effect of Bicarbonate, Chloride Gradient, and Organic Solutes

Steven C. Sansom, Harry O. Senekjian, Thomas F. Knight, Peter Frommer, Edward J. Weinman

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Simultaneous in vivo capillary and luminal microperfusion studies were performed in the superficial proximal convoluted tubule of the rat to determine the effect of intraluminal bicarbonate, the imposition of a transepithelial chloride gradient, and the addition of organic solutes to the luminal perfusion solution on the rates of water absorption (Jv). The capillary perfusion solution contained NaCl, NaHCO3, and KCl. Perfusion of both capillary and lumen with the same solution resulted in a Jv of 3.01 ± 0.24 nl/min/mm. Imposition of a transepithelial chloride gradient (equimolar substitution of NaCl for NaHCO3 in the luminal solution) resulted in a Jv of 3.18 #pL 0.21 nl/min/mm (P = NS). Addition of cyanide to both solutions in the presence of a chloride gradient resulted in a significantly lower Jv of 2.21 ± 0.19 nl/min/mm. Luminal substitution of Na cyclamate for NaHCO3 resulted in a solution containing no bicarbonate and no chloride gradient. Jv averaged 0.34 ± 0.08 nl/min/mm. Addition of cyanide to the solution totally inhibited Jv. The addition of D-glucose, L-alanine, or both, to luminal solutions containing bicarbonate or in the presence of a chloride gradient did not significantly affect Jv. Addition of both organic solutes to the NaCl-Na cyclamate luminal solution resulted in a significantly higher Jv of 0.77 ± 0.14 nl/min/mm. These studies indicate that Jv in the rat superficial proximal tubule is influenced by active sodium transport, by the presence of bicarbonate in the lumen, and/or by the imposition of a transepithelial chloride gradient. The organic solutes D-glucose and L-alanine also influence water absorption, but this effect could only be demonstrated under some experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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