Glomerulotubular balance was investigated in isolated, perfused rabbit proximal tubules in vitro in order to evaluate some of the mechanisms proposed to account for the proportionate relationship between glomerular filtration rate and fluid absorption generally observed in vivo. The rate of fluid transport from lumen to bath in proximal convoluted tubules in vitro was approximately equal to the estimated normal rate in vivo. The absorption rate in proximal straight tubules however was approximately one-half as great. If the mechanism responsible for maintenance of glomerulotubular balance is intrinsic to the proximal tubule, as has been proposed on the basis of micropuncture studies, the rate of fluid absorption in vitro should be directly related to the perfusion rate and/or tubule volume. In the present studies absorption rate was only minimally affected when perfusion rate was increased or the tubule distended. Thus, glomerulotubular balance is not mediated by changes in velocity of flow of the tubular fluid or tubular diameter and therefore is not an intrinsic property of the proximal tubule. It has also been proposed that glomerulotubular balance results from a humoral feedback mechanism in which angiotensin directly inhibits fluid absorption by the proximal convoluted tubule. In the present experiments, angiotensin was found to have no significant effect on absorption rate.
Maurice B. Burg, Jack Orloff