Transepithelial potential in Malpighian tubules of Rhodnius prolixus: lumen-negative voltages and the triphasic response to serotonin
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Previous studies of the Malpighian tubules of Rhodnius reported lumen-negative values of transepithelial potential (TEP), and a characteristic triphasic change in TEP in response to stimulation of tubule fluid secretion by serotonin. TEP was measured using the Ramsay technique, in which electrodes are positioned in bathing and secreted fluid droplets for tubules isolated under paraffin oil. The validity of this method of TEP measurement has been questioned on the grounds that, in tubules of some species, it may permit shunting of current from lumen to bath through the cells or through the thin layer of fluid adherent to the surface of that portion of the tubule in the oil. The triphasic response of TEP to serotonin has been confirmed in this study of tubules of fifth instar Rhodnius prolixus using two different techniques that eliminate the possibility of shunting artefacts. From an initially negative value in unstimulated tubules ( approximately -25 mV, lumen-negative), TEP shifted to approximately -33 mV in phase 1, approximately +30 mV in phase 2 and approximately -32 mV in phase 3. TEP during each phase was similar irrespective of the measurement technique. Ion substitution experiments and the effects of specific pharmacological reagents support the proposal that the three phases of the response of TEP to serotonin correspond to sequential activation of an apical Cl(-) channel, an apical V-type H(+) ATPase and a basolateral Na(+):K(+):2Cl(-) cotransporter.
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