The dominant K+ transport pathways in rabbit inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells were identified using an extracellular K+ electrode and fluorometric estimates of membrane potential. Ba2+ (5 mM) caused an initial rate of net K+ influx (61 +/- 6 nmol K+.min-1. mg protein-1) equivalent to the net K+ efflux (59 +/- 5 nmol K+. min-1.mg protein-1) induced by ouabain (0.1 mM). Addition of ouabain to Ba2+ -treated cells caused no net K+ flux. Membrane potential experiments demonstrated a K+ conductance that was inhibited by Ba2+. Thus K+ transport in the IMCD occurs principally via Ba2+ -sensitive K+ conductive pathway(s) and Na+-K+-ATPase. In studies that examine the metabolic determinants of K+ transport in the IMCD, glucose (but not 3-O-methylglucose) augmented oxygen consumption (QO2; + 12%) and cell K+ content (+12%), whereas iodoacetic acid, an inhibitor of glycolysis, promoted a release of cell K+. However, inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation with rotenone demonstrated that glycolysis alone could not maintain cell K+ content. Thus glucose metabolism plays an important role in K+ transport in the IMCD, but both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation are required to maintain optimal cellular K+ gradients.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society