The electrical nature of active NaCl transport and the significance of a basolateral membrane chloride conductance were examined in isolated perfused rabbit proximal convoluted tubules (PCT). PCT were perfused with a high chloride solution that simulated late proximal tubular fluid and were bathed in an albumin solution that simulated rabbit serum in the control and recovery periods. The electrical nature of NaCl transport was examined by bathing the tubules in a high chloride albumin solution where there were no anion gradients. Volume reabsorption (J(v)) during the control and recovery period was 0.56 and 0.51 nl/mm·min, respectively, and 0.45 nl/mm·min when the tubules were bathed in a high chloride bath. The transepithelial potential difference (PD) during the control and recovery periods averaged 2.3 mV, but decreased to 0.0 mV in the absence of anion gradients, which indicated that NaCl transport is electroneutral. Further evidence that NaCl transport is electroneutral was obtained by examining the effect of addition of 0.01 mM ouabain in PCT perfused and bathed with high chloride solutions. The J(v) was 0.54 nl/mm·min in the control period and not statistically different from zero after inhibition of active transport. The PD was not different from zero in both periods. Two groups of studies examined the role of basolateral membrane Cl- conductance in NaCl transport. First, depolarizing the basolateral membrane with 2 mM bath Ba++ did not significantly affect J(v) or PD. Second, the effect of the presumptive Cl- conductance inhibitor anthracene-9-CO2H was examined. Anthracene-9-CO2H did not significantly affect J(v) or PD. In conclusion, these data show that NaCl transport in the PCT is electroneutral and transcellular and provide evidence against a significant role for basolateral membrane chloride conductance in the rabbit PCT.
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