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Am J Physiol. 1989 Oct;257(4 Pt 2):F658-68.

Reflection coefficients and water permeability in rat proximal tubule.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Simultaneous microperfusion of proximal tubules and peritubular capillaries in kidneys of rats anesthetized with Inactin was used to measure reflection coefficients. All perfusates contained cyanide to inhibit active transport; the tubular perfusate was isotonic and the peritubular capillaries were perfused with solutions made hypertonic with NaCl, NaHCO3, L-glucose, or sodium ferrocyanide. Measurements of recollected fluid enabled a precise mean gradient and ionic fluxes to be calculated; net water flux was measured with inulin. Imposed gradients always partly dissipated. Reflection coefficients were 0.59 +/- 0.01 for NaCl, 0.87 +/- 0.04 for NaHCO3-, and 0.96 +/- 0.07 for ferrocyanide, assuming that L-glucose was 1. Water permeability of the proximal tubule was 1,030 microns/s. Ionic permeability of Cl- (21.6 +/- 1.3 X 10(-5) cm/s) was greater than that for Na+ (13.3 +/- 2.7 X 10(-5) cm/s); permeability for L-glucose was 5.4 +/- 1.3 X 10(-5), and for ferrocyanide ions 2.7 +/- 0.9 X 10(-5) cm/s. It is concluded that in rat proximal tubule both NaCl and NaHCO3 have reflection coefficients less than 1.0 and solute asymmetry across the epithelium is a significant driving force for fluid reabsorption. Furthermore the data suggest that there is a significant contribution of solvent drag to solute movement.

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