Membrane potentials and the electrical resistance of the cell membranes and the shunt pathway of toad urinary bladder epithelium were measured using microelectrode techniques. These measurements were used to compute the equivalent electromotive forces (EMF) at both cell borders before and after reductions in mucosal Cl- concentration ([Cl]m). The effects of reduction in [Cl]m depended on the anionic substitute. Gluconate or sulfate substitutions increased transepithelial resistance, depolarized membrane potentials and EMF at both cell borders, and decreased cell conductance. Iodide substitutions had opposite effects. Gluconate or sulfate substitutions decreased apical Na conductance, where iodide replacements increased it. When gluconate or sulfate substitutions were brought about the presence of amiloride in the mucosal solution, apical membrane potential and EMF hyperpolarized with no significant changes in basolateral membrane potential or EMF. It is concluded that: (a) apical Na conductance depends, in part, on the anionic composition of the mucosal solution, (b) there is a Cl- conductance in the apical membrane, and (c) the electrical communication between apical and basolateral membranes previously described is mediated by changes in the size of the cell Na pool, most likely by a change in sodium activity.

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