Intestinal Calcium Transport: The Role of Sodium

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Science  14 Apr 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4031, pp. 168-170
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4031.168


The role of sodium in intestinal calcium transport was investigated in everted rat intestine. Ethacrynic acid, but not ouabain, inhibited calcium transport. However, ouabain did inhibit net water transport and, therefore, sodium transport, establishing the dissociation of the two transport processes. In addition to a magnesium-dependent adenosine triphosphatase (activated by sodium and potassium), a phosphatase dependent on sodium and calcium was localized to the lateral and basal membrane fractions of the mucosal cell. Activity of the latter phosphatase, similar to calcium transport in intact tissue, was inhibited by ethacrynic acid and not by ouabain. Sodium, therefore, may participate in the calcium transport process by activating an enzyme complex, dependent on adenosine triphosphate, that mediates calcium transport.

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