Transepithelial calcium transport has been investigated in rat cecum under in vitro voltage-clamp conditions. Under short-circuit conditions, the cecum behaves as a relatively tight epithelium for calcium fluxes, where mucosal-to-serosal (JCam leads to s) flux exceeds the reverse flux by at least 15-fold. JCanet is abolished in the presence of 1 mM N-ethylmaleimide, is inhibited by 40% with 1 mM ouabain, and is decreased by at least 60% when medium sodium is replaced by choline. Voltage-clamping experiments suggest that both electroneutral- and electrogenic-mediated calcium fluxes traverse the cell in the mucosal-to-serosal direction. Serosal-to-mucosal flux is purely diffusional and probably constrained to the paracellular pathway. In rats weighing less than 175 g, a low-calcium diet has no significant stimulatory effect on JCam leads to s, but a high-calcium diet markedly reduces this flux. These results suggest that the cecum possesses the highest density of calcium transport sites in the rat intestine and is ideally suited for bulk calcium absorption, which may be “down regulated” in response to an increased calcium load in growing animals.
- Copyright © 1981 the American Physiological Society