Na-K-activated ATPase: activity maturation in rabbit nephron segments dissected in vitro

Am J Physiol. 1977 Jul;233(1):F55-60. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1977.233.1.F55.


Single, defined nephron segments were dissected in vitro from fresh slices of neonatal and mature rabbit kidney. Na-K-ATPase was quantified for six different tubule segments with an ultramicromethod. The enzyme distribution pattern in the neonatal nephron was similar to that in the mature nephron. Activity in distal segments was 2-5 times higher than proximal tubule activity referred to tissue dry weight, and 2 times higher referred to tubule length. Neonatal enzyme activity was lower than mature in all segments. Some segments carried only 23% of mature activity. Enzyme activity in the proximal convoluted tubule was constant during maturation when referred to the basal and lateral membrane area measured in the same developmental stages. In vitro activities of these tubules were similar to the enzyme activity measured previously in freeze-dried slices. The Vmax during development of Na-K-ATPase was higher by a factor of 5 in the mature tubule, whereas the Km was identical in the neonatal and mature tubule. The ouabain-insensitive ATPase did not show a maturational activity change.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Kinetics
  • Nephrons / enzymology*
  • Nephrons / growth & development
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • Sodium / pharmacology


  • Sodium
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Potassium