The electrical potential profile of the isolated toad bladder was examined in the spontaneously active, chronically short-circuited, and intermittently short-circuited states by means of glass micropipettes. The position of the micropipette tip within the bladder was evaluated by measuring the D.C. resistance between the micropipette tip and the reference electrode on the serosal side of the bladder. In the spontaneously active state, with concentrations of sodium in the mucosal solution ranging from less than 1 to 114 meq per liter, the potential profile consisted in the majority of impalements of two steps, each positive to the mucosal solution. A minority of impalements showed more than two potential steps, each positive to the mucosal solution. In the short-circuited state, the interior of the bladder was found to be negative to the bathing solution by approximately 5 mv. The results are interpreted as showing a potential step at the two surfaces of the epithelial cell layer of the toad bladder. In the spontaneously active state the potential change at the mucosal boundary is of the wrong polarity to bring about net sodium entry; the small electrical driving force across the mucosal surface which is present in the short-circuited state may contribute to the net entry of sodium from mucosal solutions with low sodium concentration.

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