The mechanism responsible for active sodium transport in the urinary bladder of the toad appears to be located at the serosal boundary of the epithelial cell layer of the bladder. Studies of the potential step observed at the serosal boundary in the open-circuited state were undertaken in an attempt to define the factors responsible for its production. Glass micropipettes were used to measure the serosal potential step in bladders exposed on the serosal side to solutions of high potassium or of high potassium and low chloride concentration. Observed potentials exceed the maximum values which would have been expected if the serosal potential step were a potassium or chloride diffusion potential. Measurements of net cation flux exclude the possibility of a diffusion potential at this border due to the passive movement of any anionic species. The observed independence of transbladder potential and short-circuit current from the pH of the serosal medium over a wide range of pH makes it unlikely that the observed serosal potential step is a hydrogen ion diffusion potential. We conclude that the active sodium transport mechanism in toad bladder is "electrogenic."

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