Analysis of potassium transport by rabbit ccd conducive pathways and potassium potassium exchange by sodium potassium pump
Nonaka, T.; Warden, D.H.; Stokes, J.B.
American Journal of Physiology 262(1 Part 2): F86-F97
ISSN/ISBN: 0363-6143 Accession: 007016998
We studied the cellular pathways of K+ transport by the rabbit cortical collecting duct that was stimulated to absorb Na+ and to secrete K+. The vast majority of K+ secretion (into the lumen) was inhibited by benzamil, a blocker of epithelial Na+ channels. The residual K+ secretion was completely inhibited by ouabain. Thus all active K+ secretion was dependent on Na+ transport by the Na+-K+ pump. The passive pathways of K+ transport were further examined using tracer and electrophysiological measurements. K+ transfer across the apical membrane was predominantly or exclusively conductive; the apical K+ conductance was 31 mS/cm2. The basolateral membrane contained two pathways for K+ tracer translocation. The (barium-sensitive) conductive pathway accounted for a relatively small (12-20%) portion of the tracer permeation. A larger pathway appeared to be via K+-K+ exchange on the Na+-K+ pump. The magnitude of the Ba2+-sensitive (basolateral) K+ conductance predicted a substantially larger tracer flux than was actually measured. The best explanation for this difference is the presence of single-file diffusion through K+ channels on the apical and basolateral membranes. An analysis of the electrically silent K+ transport from lumen to bath suggests that the Na+-K+ pump can vary the ratio of its Na+-K+ and K+-K+ modes of operation. When the tubule is actively transporting Na+ and K+, the Na+/K+-K+ turnover ratio is > 7. When Na+ transport is limited by inhibiting Na+ entry across the apical membrane, the ratio falls to < 1. A major factor determining this ratio is probably the availability of Na+ to the cytoplasmic side of the pump.