Osmotic gradient dependence of osmotic water permeability in rabbit proximal convoluted tubule

The Journal of Membrane Biology
C A Berry, A S Verkman


To assess steady-state transepithelial osmotic water permeability (Pf), rabbit proximal convoluted tubules were perfused in vitro with the impermeant salt, sodium isethionate at 26 degrees C. Osmotic gradients (delta pi) were established by varying the bath concentration of the impermeant solute, raffinose. When lumen osmolality was 300 mOsm and bath osmolality was 320, 360 and 400 mOsm, apparent Pf decreased from 0.5 to 0.10 to 0.08 cm/sec, respectively. Similar data were obtained when lumen osmolality was 400 mOsm. Five possible causes of the delta pi dependence of apparent Pf were considered experimentally and/or theoretically: (1) external unstirred layer (USL); (2) cytoplasmic USL; (3) change in surface area; (4) saturation of water transport; (5) down-regulation of Pf. Apparent Pf was inhibited 83% by p-chloromercuribenzene sulfonate (pCMBS) at 20 mOsm, but not at 60 mOsm delta pi, suggesting presence of a serial barrier resistance to water transport. Increases in perfusate or bath solution flow rate and viscosity did not alter apparent Pf, ruling out an external USL. A simple cytoplasmic USL, described by a constant USL thickness and solute diffusion coefficient, could not account for the delta pi dependence of apparent ...Continue Reading


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