Low luminal concentrations of chloride stimulate net potassium secretion by the renal distal tubule, independent of changes in transepithelial voltage. These effects are not prevented by the luminal application of the potassium channel blocking agent barium. Because net potassium secretion comprises secretory and absorptive components, we sought to evaluate the effects of chloride and barium on unidirectional potassium fluxes in the renal distal tubule. In vivo microperfusion methods were used in anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. Perfusion solutions contained either 42K or 86Rb as tracers for potassium. Tracer efflux coefficients, indicating apparent potassium permeability, were similar when measured using either isotope. Net potassium flux was determined as the difference between perfusion and collected rate, and unidirectional absorptive potassium flux was calculated as the product of the mean luminal potassium concentration and the tracer efflux coefficient. During perfusion with a solution that resembled fluid normally arriving at the early distal tubule, the absorptive potassium flux was ~25% of the unidirectional secretory flux. Reducing lumen chloride concentration increased net potassium secretion, because blood-to-lumen potassium flux increased from 61 ± 12.7 to 96 ± 14.6 pmol/min. Barium reduced both absorptive and secretory fluxes but did not prevent the stimulation of net potassium secretion that occurs when luminal chloride concentration is reduced. Apparent potassium permeability during perfusion with a solution that resembled fluid normally arriving at the early distal tubule was 800 nm/s when corrected for voltage. Together with the results of previous experiments, these results are consistent with the presence of a secretory pathway linking potassium with chloride in the luminal membrane of cells of the distal tubule.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||American Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1986|
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