Free-flow electrophoresis allows the separation of different cell populations from a cell suspension isolated from rabbit kidney cortex after perfusion of the kidneys with a calcium-binder, followed by gentle mechanical treatment. After electrophoretic separation, analysis of the adenylate cyclase activities after stimulation by various hormones allows the precise determination of the origin of the cell populations with different electrophoretic mobilities. Adenylate cyclase from the slow-moving main cell population was only sensitive to parathyroid hormone. These cells had also high alkaline phosphatase content, further demonstrating their proximal origin. The various fast-moving cell populations had adenylate cyclase sensitive to isoproterenol and arginine vasopressin but were less sensitive to parathyroid hormone than the slow-moving cells. Their alkaline phosphatase content was also much lower. This indicates that these fast-moving cell populations originate from both the granulous segment of the distal tubule and from the collecting ducts. The adenylate cyclase activity and the cyclic AMP contents of isolated proximal cells maintained in culture medium were also investigated.

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