The pathways for the entry of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) into bile have been investigated using the isolated perfused rat liver operating under one-pass conditions. Following a 1 min one-pass infusion of HRP, two peaks of HRP activity were noted in the bile. The first, at 5-7 min post-infusion, correlated with the biliary secretion of the [3H]methoxyinulin which was infused simultaneously with the HRP. The second peak of HRP activity occurred at 20-25 min, and correlated with the biliary secretion of 125I-IgA, which was also infused simultaneously with the HRP. If the isolated livers were perfused with a medium containing 2.5 microM-colchicine, the biliary secretion of IgA and the second secretion peak of HRP were inhibited by 60%. If rats were pretreated for 12h with alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (25mg/100g body wt.) prior to liver isolation, the biliary secretion of [3H]methoxyinulin and the first secretion peak of HRP were increased. Taken together, these results suggest that HRP enters the bile via two routes. The faster route, which was increased by alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate and correlated with [3H]methoxyinulin entry into bile, was probably paracellular, involving diffusion across tight junctions. The slower route, which was inhibited by colchicine and correlated with the secretion of IgA, was probably due to transcytosis, possibly within IgA and other transport vesicles.

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