Bicarbonate secretion by rabbit cortical collecting tubules in vitro.

Research paper by T D TD McKinney, M B MB Burg

Indexed on: 01 Jun '78Published on: 01 Jun '78Published in: The Journal of clinical investigation


We previously reported that rabbit renal cortical collecting tubules can secrete bicarbonate in vitro (i.e., there can be net transport from bath to lumen, causing the concentration in the lumen to increase). Net bicarbonate secretion was observed most often when rabbits had been pretreated with NaHCO(3) and were excreting alkaline urine before being killed for experiments. The purpose of the present studies was to elucidate the mechanism involved by testing the effects of ion substitutions and drugs on collecting tubules that were secreting bicarbonate. Acetazolamide inhibited net bicarbonate secretion, suggesting that the process is dependent upon carbonic anhydrase. Net bicarbonate secretion also decreased when sodium in the perfusate and bath was replaced by choline, but not when chloride was replaced by nitrate or methylsulfate. Ouabain had no significant effect. Amiloride caused net bicarbonate secretion to increase. The rate of net secretion did not correlate with transepithelial voltage. The results are compared to those in turtle urinary bladders that also secrete bicarbonate. There are no direct contradictions between the results in the two tissues, i.e., in turtle bladders acetazolamide also inhibited bicarbonate secretion and ouabain had no effect. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that net secretion of bicarbonate by collecting tubules involves specific exchange for chloride, as has been proposed for turtle bladders, because replacement of chloride by other anions did not inhibit bicarbonate secretion by collecting tubules. It was previously shown that the collecting tubules in vitro also may absorb bicarbonate, especially when the rabbits have been treated with NH(4)Cl and are excreting acid urine before being killed. The effects of drugs on net bicarbonate secretion found in the present studies are compared to their previously reported effects on net bicarbonate absorption and the possibility is discussed that bicarbonate absorption and secretion are independent processes, as was previously proposed for turtle bladders.