To examine in vivo the separate effects on distal tubule JtCO2, of dietary chloride restriction, bicarbonate loading, and changes in luminal chloride concentration, we microperfused distal tubules at a physiologic flow rate (8 nl/min) with solutions containing either 45 or 0 mM chloride (after gluconate substitution). Rats were fed a diet containing zero, minimal, or normal amounts of chloride, while drinking either water or a solution of 0.15 M sodium bicarbonate. Neither extracellular fluid volume contraction nor negative chloride balance ensued. Analysis of covariance with repeated measures demonstrated that dietary chloride, drinking sodium bicarbonate, and perfusion with either 45 mM or zero chloride, each have separate and significant modulating effects on distal tubule bicarbonate secretion. During mild alkalemia, there is modest bicarbonate secretion which is significantly different from zero (-9.9 +/- 3.2 pmol.min-1.mm-1, P less than 0.01), and which is suppressed after perfusion with zero chloride. In contrast, during more pronounced metabolic alkalosis after supplemental bicarbonate drinking, the bicarbonate secretory flux is brisk (-26 +/- 3 pmol.min-1.mm-1) and significantly different from zero and persists (-11 +/- 3 pmol.min-1.mm-1) even during perfusion with zero luminal chloride. Accordingly, in this two-day model of alkalosis induced by dietary chloride restriction, there is regulatory secretion of bicarbonate by distal tubules in vivo which is modulated by luminal chloride concentration.
D Z Levine, M Iacovitti, V Harrison