The relationship between ammonia secretion (JAmm), hydrogen ion secretion (JH), and intracellular pH (pHi) was investigated in isolated locust (Schistocerca gregaria) rectal epithelia mounted as flat sheets in specially designed Ussing chambers. In the absence of exogenous CO2 and ammonia, the rectum is capable of net acid and ammonia secretion into the lumen against pH gradients of up to 1.8 U. JAmm was dependent on the presence of luminal amino acids and Na+ and it was relatively unaffected by K+ removal or changes in membrane potential. JAmm and pHi remained fairly constant over a luminal pH range of 7-5, whereas JH decreased linearly to zero over the same pH range. Mucosal addition of 1 mM amiloride reduced JAmm by 60%. This study demonstrates that the locust rectum secretes significant quantities of endogenously produced ammonia preferentially into the lumen as NH+4 rather than NH3. Moreover, the results suggest that the ammonia crosses the apical membrane via an amiloride-inhibitable Na+-NH+4 exchange mechanism.
- Copyright © 1988 the American Physiological Society