1. The Pco2 gradient between alkaline urine and arterial blood (U—B Pco2) is thought to depend primarily on distal hydrogen ion secretion. However, other variables affecting the U—B Pco2 include the urine flow rate, the urinary bicarbonate and phosphate excretion rates and the glomerular filtration rate.
2. In order to evaluate the effects of acute changes in these factors on the U—B Pco2, bicarbonate-loaded dogs with maximal U—B Pco2 values were subjected to either acute unilateral elevations of ureteral pressure or hypotension caused by nitroprusside infusion. The results demonstrate that acute reduction in the glomerular fiitration rate does not cause a decrease in the U—B Pco2 as long as the urinary concentrations of phosphate and bicarbonate do not decline.
3. Urinary concentrations of phosphate and bicarbonate appeared more important than their excretion rates in the maintenance of elevated U—B Pco2 values.