Isolated bullfrog tadpole stomachs secrete H+ by stage XXIV of metamorphosis, when tail reabsorption is nearly complete. At this stage the PD shows characteristic responses identical to those of the adult. The appearance of HCl secretion correlates well with other studies showing the morphogenesis of oxyntic cells. Prior to the development of H+ secretion tadpole stomachs maintain a PD similar in polarity and magnitude to that of the adult; i.e., secretory (S) side negative with respect to the nutrient (N) side. The interdependence with aerobic metabolism appeared to increase progressively through metamorphosis; however, glycolytic inhibitors always abolished the PD. Isotopic flux analysis showed that the transepithelial movement of Na+ was consistent with passive diffusion, whereas an active transport of Cl- from N to S was clearly indicated. Variations in [Na+], [K+], and [Cl-] in the bathing solutions induced changes consistent with the following functional description of the pre-H+-secreting tadpole stomach. (a) The S side is relatively permeable to Cl-, but not to Na+ or K+. (b) An equilibrium potential for K+ and Cl- exists at the N interface. (c) Ouabain abolishes the selective K+ permeablity at the N interface and reduces the total PD. (d) Effects of Na+ replacement by choline in the N solution become manifest only below 10–20 mM. It is concluded that prior to development of H+ secretion, the tadpole gastric PD is generated by a Cl- pump from N to S and a Na+ pump operating from the cell interior toward the N side.

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