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Monday 01 November 2004

Transcellular and paracellular elements of salt chemosensation in toad skin.

By: Hillyard SD, Goldstein J, Tuttle W, Hoff K.

Chem Senses 2004 Nov;29(9):755-62

Dehydrated toads absorb water by pressing a specialized (seat patch) area of the skin to moist surfaces. This behavior, the water absorption response (WR), is preceded by periods of more limited skin contact (seat patch down, SPD) in which the suitability of the rehydration source is evaluated. WR and SPD behaviors were suppressed on 250 mM NaCl and 200 mM KCl solutions. Ten micromolar amiloride partially restored SPD and WR on NaCl solutions. The addition of 5 mM La(3+) also partially restored the initiation of WR and this effect was additive to the effect of amiloride, suggesting transcellular and paracellular pathways exist in parallel. Similarly, 5 mM La(3+) partially restored the initiation of WR on KCl solutions, to levels comparable to those with K(+)gluconate, suggesting a paracellular pathway for detection of K(+). Hyperosmotic (250 mM) NaCl solutions bathing the mucosal surface rapidly and reversibly increased the paracellular conductance of isolated skin and this increase was partially inhibited by 5 mM La(3+). These results suggest that the regulation of tight junctions has a chemosensory role in toad skin.

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