Immunocytochemical localization of band 3 protein in the rat collecting duct

J. W. Verlander, K. M. Madsen, P. S. Low, D. P. Allen, C. C. Tisher

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92 Scopus citations


Band 3 protein is the major anion transport protein of the erythrocyte cell membrane where it catalyzes the exchange of HCO3 - for Cl-. There is evidence that band 3 protein is present in the collecting duct of both the rat and rabbit kidney. We used colloidal-gold immunocytochemistry to determine the ultrastructural location of band 3 protein in the rat cortical (CCD) and outer medullary collecting ducts (OMCD). Kidneys of normal Sprague-Dawley rats were fixed by intravascular perfusion with 1% glutaraldehyde and embedded in Lowicryl K4M. Two polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits were used as the primary antibody in separate experiments, one against the 43-kDa fragment of the cytoplasmic domain of human erythrocyte band 3 protein and the other against rat erythrocyte band 3 protein. This was followed by exposure to gold-conjugated goat anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G. Transmission electron microscopy revealed gold particles along the basal and lateral plasma membranes of all intercalated cells of the OMCD. In the CCD, the basal and lateral plasma membranes of the type A intercalated cells only were labeled with gold particles. The type B intercalated cells and principal cells were devoid of gold particles, as were all cells of the proximal tubule, the distal convoluted tubule, and the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle. We conclude that a Cl--HCO3 - transporter is present in the basal and lateral plasma membranes of the intercalated cells in the OMCD and the type A intercalated cells in the CCD. These findings provide further evidence that these intercalated cells are involved in H+ secretion in the OMCD and CCD of the rat. We have no evidence for the presence of band 3 protein in the type B intercalated cells of the CCD, which supports the hypothesis that type B cells are functionally and structurally distinct from type A cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F115-F125
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number1 (24/1)
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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