Electrophysiological properties of cellular and paracellular conductive pathways of the rabbit cortical collecting duct

Roger G. O'Neil, Steven C. Sansom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Microelectrode techniques were applied to the rabbit isolated perfused cortical collecting duct to provide an initial quantitation and characterization of the cell membrane and tight junction conductances. Initial studies demonstrated that the fractional resistance (ratio of the resistance of the apical cell membrane to the sum of the resistances of the apical and basolateral membranes) was usually independent of the point along the tubule of microelectrode impalement-implicating little cell-to-cell coupling-supporting the application of quantitative techniques to the cortical collecting duct. It was demonstrated that in the presence of amiloride, either reduction in the luminal pH or the addition of barium to the perfusate selectively reduced the apical membrane potassium conductance. From the changes in Gte and fractional resistance upon reducing the luminal pH or addition of barium to the perfusate, the transepithelial, apical membrane, basolateral membrane and tight junction conductances were estimated to be 9.3, 6.7, 8.1 and 6.0 mS cm-2, respectively. Ninety to ninety-five percent of the apical membrane conductance reflected the barium-sensitive potassium conductance in the presence of amiloride with an estimated potassium permeability of 1.1×10-4 cm sec-1. Reduction in the perfusate pH to 4.0 caused a 70% decrease in the apical membrane potassium conductance, implying a blocking site with an acidic group having a pKa near 4.4. It is concluded that both the transcellular and paracellular pathways of the cortical collecting tubule have high ionic conductances, and that the apical membrane conductance primarily reffects a high potassium conductance. Furthermore, both reduction in the perfusate pH and addition of barium to the perfusate selectively block the apical potassium channels, although the site of inhibition likely differs since the two ions display markedly different voltage-dependent blocks of the channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-295
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Membrane Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • barium
  • conductance
  • cortical collecting duct
  • epithelium
  • hydrogen
  • ionic permeability
  • potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrophysiological properties of cellular and paracellular conductive pathways of the rabbit cortical collecting duct'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this