The ontogeny of effective Na and K permeability has been studied in renal epithelial cells isolated from the outermost superficial cortex from adult and young (10-15 days) rats. The cells were cultured for 2-4 days and exhibited phloridzin-inhibitable alpha-methylglucoside uptake, characteristic of renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC). Intracellular concentrations of K, Na, Cl, and P and kinetics of changes in intracellular ionic content after inhibition of Na-K-ATPase with 1 mM ouabain (or by incubation in low-K medium) were measured in individual cells using electron probe analysis. Intracellular concentrations of K, Na, Cl, and P were equivalent in young and adult rat RPTC. Adult rat and young rat cells preincubated in K-free medium rapidly recovered normal intracellular K and Na contents when returned to 5.5 mM K medium. The recovery was almost immediately blocked by ouabain. Effective permeabilities measured as half time of K efflux and Na influx after ouabain inhibition of Na-K-ATPase were higher in adult than in young RPTC cultured for less than 4 days. Effective K and Na permeabilities decreased significantly with increasing time in culture in adult but not in young rat RPTC. Among young rat RPTC, half times of Na and K fluxes were significantly correlated to age. Effective K and Na permeabilities were lower in both young and adult rat RPTC that had been serum deprived for 24 h than in cells that had been continuously cultured in serum. In cells cultured for 3 days and serum deprived for 1 day, the addition of serum significantly increased K and Na permeability both in young and adult RPTC, but the effect was more pronounced in young RPTC where permeability reached the same high values as in adult RPTC continuously cultured in serum. In conclusion, effective Na and K permeabilities and serum activation of "permeability units" change during ontogeny. These ontogenic changes might be blunted after a few days in culture due to dedifferentiation of adult rat RPTC.
- Copyright © 1986 the American Physiological Society