1. The kinetics of acidification of luminal fluid in hypertrophied proximal tubules after unilateral nephrectomy was studied by stationary microperfusion and continuous measurement of luminal pH with antimony microelectrodes.

2. Trans-epithelial and basolateral membrane electrical potential differences were measured in order to detect modifications in electrogenic transport mechanisms under these conditions.

3. The values of stationary pH and HCO3 concentration were significantly lower, the mean acidification half-time was not different and net reabsorptive HCO3 fluxes in proximal tubules were significantly increased in uninephrectomized rats. According to an electrical analogue model, these results suggest (a) a reduction in the internal series resistance of the H+ pump, caused perhaps by an increased density of pump sites, and (b) an increase in the protonmotive force of the pump.

4. The trans-epithelial electrical potential difference measured in free flow conditions was significantly more lumen-positive in uninephrectomized rats. The trans-epithelial electrical potential difference measured during intraluminal perfusion with Ringer solution containing 30 mmol/l HCO3 was significantly more negative in all groups studied. In uninephrectomized rats treated with acetazolamide, the trans-epithelial electrical potential difference was more lumen-negative than that in untreated uninephrectomized rats. These results are compatible with a steeper transepithelial Cl gradient as well as with electrogenic, active H+ secretion.

5. There was no significant difference in the basolateral electrical potential difference between control and uninephrectomized rats.

6. In conclusion, our data show an increase in the transport rates of HCO3 in the proximal tubule of uninephrectomized rats, which may be due to an increase in the density of transporters in the brush-border membrane, and an increased ability of the transport mechanism to create H+ gradients.

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