Mechanisms of bicarbonate secretion in the equine colon ex vivo

Am J Vet Res. 2022 Jun 20;83(8):ajvr.22.03.0045. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.22.03.0045.


Objective: To examine bicarbonate (HCO3-) secretion ex vivo in the equine large colon to determine any differences between the right dorsal colon (RDC) and right ventral colon (RVC). The effect of phenylbutazone (PBZ) on HCO3- secretion was examined in the RDC.

Animals: 14 healthy horses.

Procedures: In anesthetized horses (n = 10), segments of mucosa from RDC and RVC were harvested to measure HCO3- secretion ex vivo with the pH Stat method. The effect of PBZ on HCO3- secretion in the RDC was studied in 4 additional horses.

Results: Three distinct mechanisms of HCO3- secretion previously described in a murine model were confirmed in the equine colon. The RDC had a greater capacity for electrogenic, Cl--independent HCO3- secretion than the RVC (P = 0.04). In the RDC, all HCO3- secretion was decreased by PBZ (P < 0.02) but was not studied in the RVC because of low baseline secretion.

Clinical relevance: Secretion of HCO3- by the RDC could play a pivotal role in equine colon physiology, because intense microbial fermentation in this site could require HCO3- secretion to buffer short-chain fatty acids. Inhibition of this secretion by PBZ could interfere with mucosal buffering and predispose to changes associated with right dorsal colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates* / pharmacology
  • Colon*
  • Horses
  • Mice


  • Bicarbonates