Mechanism of epithelial lithium transport. Evidence for basolateral Na: Na and Na:Li exchange

K. L. Kirk, D. C. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Measurement of transmural sodium fluxes across isolated, ouabain-inhibited turtle colon in the presence of a serosal-to-mucosal sodium gradient shows that in the absence of active transport the amiloride-sensitive cellular path contains at least two routes for the transmural movement of sodium and lithium, one a conductive path and the other a nonconductive, cation-exchange mechanism. The latter transport element can exchange lithium for sodium, and the countertransport of these two cations provides a mechanistic basis for the ability of tight epithelia to actively absorb lithium despite the low affinity of the basolateral Na/K-ATPase for this cation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-510
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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