The effects of cholera enterotoxin on intestinal ion transport were examined in vitro. Addition of dialyzed filtrate of Vibrio cholerae (crude toxin) to the luminal side of isolated rabbit ileal mucosa caused a delayed and gradually progressive increase in transmural electric potential difference (PD) and shortcircuit current (SCC). A similar pattern was observed upon addition of a highly purified preparation of cholera toxin, although the changes in PD and SCC were smaller. Na and Cl fluxes across the short-circuited mucosa were determined with radioisotopes 3-4 hr after addition of crude toxin or at a comparable time in control tissues. The toxin caused a net secretory flux of Cl and reduced to zero the net absorptive flux of Na. Similar flux changes were observed when either crude or purified toxin was added in vivo and tissues were mounted in vitro 3-4 hr later. Additon of D-glucose to the luminal side of toxin-treated mucosa produced a large net absorptive flux of Na without altering the net Cl and residual ion fluxes.
Michael Field, David Fromm, Qais Al-Awqati, William B. Greenough III