Vasopressin increases the net transport of sodium across the isolated urinary bladder of the toad by increasing the mobility of sodium ion within the tissue. This change is reflected in a decreased DC resistance of the bladder; identification of the permeability barrier which is affected localizes the site of action of vasopressin on sodium transport. Cells of the epithelial layer were impaled from the mucosal side with glass micropipettes while current pulses were passed through the bladder. The resulting voltage deflections across the bladder and between the micropipette and mucosal reference solution were proportional to the resistance across the entire bladder and across the mucosal or apical permeability barrier, respectively. The position of the exploring micropipette was not changed and vasopressin was added to the serosal medium. In 10 successful impalements, the apical permeability barrier contributed 54% of the initial total transbladder resistance, but 98% of the total resistance change following vasopressin occurred at this site. This finding provides direct evidence that vasopressin acts to increase ionic mobility selectively across the apical permeability barrier of the transporting cells of the toad bladder.

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