Effect of metabolic acidosis on proximal tubular total CO2 absorption

R. T. Kunau, J. I. Hart, K. A. Walker

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7 Scopus citations


In vivo microperfusion studies of the proximal convoluted tubule of the rat were performed to determine the effect of metabolic acidosis on total CO2 (tCO2) absorption. In series I, tubular perfusion was performed in control and acidotic rats in a manner by which similar mean total CO2 concentrations in the proximal tubule were maintained. Comparable ranges of perfusion rate were studied in both groups. Following 3 days of HCl ingestion, plasma tCO2 was 20.0 ± 0.9 mM in the acidotic rats whereas it was 29.6 ± 0.53 mM in control rats. The arterial blood pH values were 7.25 ± 0.02 vs. 7.43 ± 0.01. Starting tCO2 perfusate concentrations were identical in both groups, 29.3 and 29.7 mM, as were the concentrations at the end of the perfused segments, 21.2 and 21.9 mM. The absorption of tCO2 (J(tCO2), pmol·mm-1·min-1) was significantly greater in the acidotic rats than in the controls, 576 ± 39 vs. 256 ± 21. At all perfusion rates studied, proximal tubular J(tCO2) was higher in the acidotic than in the control rats. In series II, similar lengths of the late proximal tubule were perfused at the same rate in control and acidotic rats. Again, J(tCO2) was higher in the acidotic rats, 352 ± 19 vs. 198 ± 13. The results indicate that at comparable luminal tCO2 concentration and tubular fluid flow rates, tCO2 absorption is significantly increased in the acidotic state. Although other mechanisms cannot be excluded, the finding of an increase in proximal tCO2 absorption in the acidotic rats is in agreement with the presence of an accelerated Na+/H+ exchange rate in brush border membrane vesicles obtained from the renal cortex of animals with metabolic acidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F62-F68
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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