Experiments were carried out in different segments of the intestine of unanaesthetised rats to assess the effect of vasopressin on intestinal absorptive processes. The following data were observed. (1) Within a physiological range of doses (Aziz, 1969), ADH diminished the net sodium absorption mainly by reducing the unidirectional sodium influx, whereas the behaviour of the efflux was not uniform. (2) The unidirectional volume fluxes showed the same behaviour as did the sodium fluxes. (3) ADH produced an oral-aboral gradient (jejunum greater than ileum greater than colon). (4) ADH did not significantly change the transfer of actively transported sugars; it did influence, however, passively transported substances. (5) During the intravenous application of ADH, a substance was secreted into the perfusion solution which diminished the absorption of volume and electrolytes. (6) Cyclic AMP acted on intestinal absorption in the same way as did ADH. In view of these results two mutually independent transport pathways for sodium and water are supposed, one of which is influenced by ADH or cAMP. Based on a two membrane model, an ADH mechanism is discussed: the permeability of the luminal membrane system is enhanced in the presence of vasopressin.
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