Mechanism of fluid secretion common to aglomerular and glomerular kidneys

Kidney Int. 1996 Jun;49(6):1543-8. doi: 10.1038/ki.1996.221.


Isolated renal proximal tubules of sea water fish net secrete fluid in vitro. The principal electrolytes in secreted fluid are Na, Cl, Mg and S. Transepithelial voltages may be lumen-negative or -positive by a few millivolts, and transepithelial resistances are low partly due to high paracellular Na and Cl permeabilities. Transepithelial electrochemical potentials indicate secretion of Mg into the tubule lumen by active transport. As Mg concentration in secreted fluid rises, Na concentration falls. Surprisingly, these observations of fluid secretion are made in glomerular and aglomerular proximal tubules, suggesting a fundamental mechanism common to both. Central to this commonality appears to be their behavior as open Donnan systems. Mg actively secreted into the tubule lumen from which it cannot diffuse back into the peritubular medium causes the transepithelial secretion of diffusible Na and Cl. Water follows by osmosis. Since there is flow out of the distal end of the tubule Donnan equilibrium is not attained. Instead, a dynamic Donnan system is maintained, driven by active transport of Mg. A mathematical model of tubular electrolyte and fluid secretion confirms the operation of this open, dynamic Donnan system in aglomerular and glomerular proximal tubules.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*