Relation of membrane potential to basolateral TEA transport in isolated snake proximal renal tubules

Kyu Kim Yung Kyu Kim, W. H. Dantzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We measured the effects of changes in both K+ concentration ([K+]) on basolateral membrane potential difference (PD) and [3H]tetraethylammonium (TEA) transport in isolated snake (Thamnophis) proximal renal tubules (25°C; pH 7.4). Increasing bath [K+] from 3 to 65 mM decreased PD from -60 mV (inside of cells negative) to -20 mV and 2-min uptake of [3H]TEA by ~ 25%, indicating that PD influences TEA entry into the cells. Uptake of [3H]TEA was inhibited similarly at both K+ concentrations by unlabeled TEA, indicating that uptake is carrier mediated. K(t) (~ 18 μM) for 2-min uptake of [3H]TEA in 3 mM K+ increased significantly in 65 mM K+, suggesting that the decrease in PD or the increase in [K+] alters the affinity of the transporter for TEA. The steady-state cell-to-bath ratio for [3H]TEA with 3 mM K+ (-60 mV PD) was ~ 16, significantly above the ratio of 10 predicted for passive distribution at electrochemical equilibrium. With 65 mM K+ (-20 mV PD) this ratio decreased to ~ 6, again significantly above the predicted ratio of 2. These data suggest that the PD can account for much, but not all, of the steady-state uptake of TEA. Efflux of [3H]TEA across the basolateral membrane was identical with either 3 or 65 mM K+ in the bath but was almost completely inhibited in either case by tetrapentylammonium, a potent inhibitor of TEA uptake. These data indicate that virtually all TEA transport across the basolateral membrane is carrier mediated and that transport out of the cells is unaffected by PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1539-R1545
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 37-6
StatePublished - 1995


  • Thamnopis
  • basolateral membrane
  • garter snakes
  • organic cations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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