Mechanism of ion transport by avian salt gland primary cell cultures

R. J. Lowy, D. C. Dawson, S. A. Ernst

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25 Scopus citations


Confluent sheets formed from primary culture of avian salt gland secretory cells exhibit a short-circuit current (I(sc)) in response to cholinergic and β-adrenergic stimulation [Lowy, R.J., D.C Dawson, and S.A. Ernst. Am J. Physiol. 249 (Cell Physiol. 18): C41-C47, 1985]. To establish the ionic basis for the I(sc) transmural fluxes of 22Na and 36Cl were measured. Under short-circuit conditions there was little net flux of either iron in the absence of agonists. Addition of carbachol elevated net serosal-to-mucosal Cl flux to 1.71 μeq·h-1·cm-2, whereas a smaller increase to 0.85 μeq·h-1·cm-2 occurred with isoproterenol. Neither agonist altered net Na flux. The stimulated I(sc) accounted for 70% of the net Cl flux induced by carbachol and nearly 100% of that induced by isoproterenol. Replacement of Cl by gluconate or Na by choline abolished (carbachol) or greatly reduced (isoproterenol) the I(sc), which could be restored in a dose-dependent fashion by ion restitution. Active ion transport was preferentially inhibited by basal (vs. apical) addition of ouabain, furosemide, or barium. The results provide evidence that cholinergic and β-adrenergic agonists elicit active transmural Cl secretion. They further suggest that transport is dependent on the Na+-K+-adenosine-triphosphatase, a Na-Cl contransport process, and a basal K conductance, all features of a secondary active Cl secretory mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25/6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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