We have identified a group of proteins (Mr approximately 70 000-80 000; pI approximately 5.5-6.0) in giant-toad (Bufo marinus) urinary bladders whose synthesis appears to be related to aldosterone-stimulated Na+ transport. Spironolactone, a specific mineralocorticoid antagonist in renal epithelia, inhibits the synthesis of these proteins as well as the natriferic effect of the hormone. Since a variety of other steroids (some of which are traditionally considered to be glucocorticoids) also stimulate Na+ transport in toad urinary bladders, we examined whether their natriferic activity was expressed in a fashion similar to that of aldosterone. Short-circuit current was used to measure Na+ transport, and epithelial-cell protein synthesis was detected with high-resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. At a concentration of approximately 100 nM, dexamethasone, corticosterone and aldosterone were equinatriferic. Dexamethasone and aldosterone had identical dose-response curves, maximal and half-maximal activity being evident at concentrations of approximately 100 nM and 10 nM respectively. In contrast, at a concentration of approximately 10 nM, corticosterone had no effect on Na+ transport. The natriferic activities of these three steroids correlate with their known affinities for the putative mineralocorticoid receptor in toad urinary bladders. Natriferic concentrations of dexamethasone and corticosterone (140 nM) induced the synthesis of proteins with characteristics identical with those induced by aldosterone. Spironolactone, at an antagonist/agonist ratio of 2000:1, inhibited steroid-induced Na+ transport and the synthesis of these proteins. Thus it appears that all natriferic steroids share a common mechanism of action in toad urinary bladders. Natriferic activity can be correlated not only with relative steroid-receptor affinity but also with the induction of a specific group of epithelial-cell proteins.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.