Fluid secretion is observed at the openings of ducts in the exocrine gland. It remains unclear whether the ducts are involved in fluid secretion in the salivary glands. In the present study, we investigated the exclusion of fluorescent dye from the duct lumen by carbachol (CCh) in isolated parotid intralobular duct segments to clarify the ability of the ducts for the fluid secretion. When the membrane-impermeable fluorescent dye, sulforhodamine, was added to the superfused extracellular solution, quantitative fluorescence images of the duct lumen were obtained under the optical sectioning at the level of the duct lumen using a confocal laser scanning microscope. CCh decreased the fluorescent intensity in the duct lumen during the superfusion of the fluorescent dye, and CCh flushed out small viscous substances stained with the fluorescent dye from isolated duct lumen, suggesting that CCh might induce fluid secretion in the duct, leading to the clearance of the dye and small stained clumps from the duct lumen. CCh-induced clearance of the fluorescent dye was divided into two phases by the sensitivity to external Ca2+ and methazolamide, an inhibitor for carbonic anhydrase. The initial phase was insensitive to these, and the subsequent late phase was sensitive to these. A major portion in the late phase was inhibited by removal of bicarbonate in the superfusion solution and DPC, but not low concentration of external Cl-, bumetanide or DIDS, suggesting that methazolamide-sensitive production of HCO3-, but not the Cl- uptake mechanism, might contribute to the CCh-induced clearance of the dye from the duct lumen. These results represent the first measurements of fluid movement in isolated duct segments, and suggest that carbachol might evoke fluid secretion possibly through Ca2+-activated, DPC-sensitive anion channels with HCO3- secretion in the rat parotid intralobular ducts.