We have measured unidirectional transmural fluxes of oxalate and neutral sugars across rat ascending colon in vitro, under short-circuit conditions, to characterize permeability barriers selective for size and charge. Ionic oxalate appears to be transported preferentially to sodium oxalate. Mucosal addition of taurocholate (1 mM), deoxycholate (1 mM), or ricinoleate (1 mM) increased bidirectional oxalate fluxes, and the ricinoleate effects were independent of medium calcium. Bidirectional fluxes of uncharged sugar molecules fell sharply at molecular weights above 76 (molecular radius above 3 A), and oxalate transport was retarded relative to that of uncharged molecules of similar size, suggesting that there is both size and charge permselectivity. Ricinoleate increased fluxes of all neutral molecules tested but changed neither the exclusion limits nor the cation selectivity of the epithelium. Bile salts and ricinoleate increase oxalate transport, probably by making more channels available, but do not alter size and charge selectivity.
S C Kathpalia, M J Favus, F L Coe