Mechanisms of disposal of acid and alkali in rabbit duodenum

Am J Physiol. 1975 Dec;229(6):1641-8. doi: 10.1152/ajplegacy.1975.229.6.1641.


Stripped duodenal mucosa of rabbits was mounted in Ussing chambers containing a Ringer solution gassed with 100% O2. The disappearance of acid or alkali from the mucosal solution of short-circuited tissue was measured with a pH stat while the serosal pH was kept at 7.4. The duodenum rapidly disposed of both acid and alkali; neither property was altered by gassing with N2 while iodoacetate was in the perfusing solutions. Prevention of release of CO2 from the mucosal chamber obliterated the early rapid phase of acid disposal by the mucosa while a similar maneuver in the serosal chamber increased the appearance of serosal acid without altering the rate of acid disposal. Gut sacs of rabbit duodenum in vitro and in vivo showed a positive correlation between acid disposal and the rate of luminal CO2 production. While acid disposal progressively decreased with time for the in vitro gut sacs, the in vivo gut sac showed no fatigue in this respect. Luminal acidification in the Ussing chamber was associated with a profound reduction in short-circuit current (Isc), partially reversible by elevation of the mucosal pH but not by luminal glucose. Our data suggest that acid disposal occurs in part by intraluminal neutralization and in part by diffusion into the mucosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium*
  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Cations, Divalent / metabolism
  • Duodenum / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mucous Membrane / metabolism
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Sodium / metabolism


  • Bicarbonates
  • Cations, Divalent
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium