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J Clin Invest. 1983 Dec;72(6):2050-9.

Characterization of acidification in the cortical and medullary collecting tubule of the rabbit.


Ouabain and lithium decrease acidification in open-circuited bladders by eliminating the electrical gradient favoring acidification. The effect of ouabain and lithium on acidification in cortical and medullary collecting tubules derived from starved New Zealand white rabbits was studied by using the techniques of isolated nephron microperfusion and microcalorimetric determination of total CO2 flux. Bath and perfusion solutions were symmetric throughout all studies, and solutions contained 25 meq of bicarbonate and were bubbled with 93.3% O2/6.7% CO2 gas mixtures. In cortical collecting tubules, ouabain (10(-8) M) addition to bath resulted in a decrease in both potential difference (PD), from -16.4 to -2.2 mV (P less than 0.001), and total CO2 flux (JTCO2), from +6.0 to 1.5 pmol/mm per min (P less than 0.005). In medullary collecting tubules neither PD nor JTCO2 changed with the addition of ouabain in either 10(-8) or 10(-4) M concentration. Replacement of 40 mM NaCl with 40 mM LiCl in both perfusate and bath in cortical collecting tubules resulted in decreases in both PD, from -11.6 to 0.4 mV (P less than 0.005), and JTCO2, from +10.8 to +4.2 pmol/mm per min (P less than 0.025). This substitution had no effect on medullary collecting tubules. When control flux rates were plotted against animal bladder urine pH, both medullary and cortical tubules showed good inverse correlation between these variables, with higher values of flux rate for the medullary tubules. The data support a role for transepithelial PD in acidification in the cortical collecting tubule and also suggest that both cortical and medullary segments of the collecting tubule participate when urinary acidification is increased during starvation in the rabbit.

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