Vasopressin is known to increase the permeability of the toad bladder, an analogue of the mammalian collecting duct, to water and hydrophilic solutes such as urea. In the present study, the effect of vasopressin on the permeability of a series of lipophilic compounds, including many commonly used drugs, has been determined. In all cases permeability increased from 50 to 100%. The response to vasopressin was mediated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and was generally not altered by phloretin, an agent that inhibits amide movement through the amide transport pathway. Evidence that these compounds move directly through the lipid phase of the membrane was provided in studies of phenobarbital permeability at low and high luminal pH. We would conclude from these studies that the effect of vasopressin on the luminal cell membrane is a widespread one, modifying both lipid components and components involved in amide, sodium and water transport. This may be of importance in the renal tubular reabsorption of many drugs, including barbiturates, glutethimide and antibiotics.
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