Studies were done with isolated frog skin to determine the effects of 10(-4) M ouabain on the electrophysiological parameters of outer and inner barriers of the Na-transporting cells. Microelectrodes were used to impale the skins from the outer surface to determine the intracellular voltages (Vsco) under conditions of short-circuiting and under conditions where a voltage clamp was used to vary the transepithelial voltage, VT. From this, the electrical resistances of outer (Rfo) and inner (RI) barriers were estimated. In addition, the driving force for active transepithelial Na transport (ENa = E'1) was estimated from the values of VT when the Vo = 0 mV (Helman and Fisher. 1977. J. Gen. Physiol. 69: 571-604). Studies were done with skins bathed with the usual 2.4 meq/liter [K]i in the inner solution as well as with reduced [K]i of 0.5 and 0 meq/liter. Characteristically, the responses to ouabain could be described by an initial rapid phase (5-10 min) during which time the Ri was increased markedly and the E'1 was decreased from control values. Thereafter, during the slow phases of the response, the resistances of both outer and inner barriers increased continuously and markedly with time leading ultimately to essentially complete inhibition of the short-circuit current. Similar studies were done with skins exposed to 10(-4) M amiloride in the outer solution. Although estimates of Ri could not be obtained under these conditions, the effects on the Vsco and E'1 were similar to those observed for the Na-transporting skins. However, the magnitudes of the effects were less and relatively slower than observed for the Na-transporting skins. The results of these studies were analyzed within the context of a proposed electrical model that takes into account the observation that the magnitude of the voltage at the inner barrier appears to exceed the equilibrium potential for K especially when transepithelial Na transport is inhibited at the apical barrier of the cells.

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