1. Ligation between the anterior and posterior segments of the rectum in vitro was used to demonstrate that the posterior rectum is the site of hyperosmotic secretion to the lumen side. Observations were consistent with a reabsorptive function for the anterior rectum. These results support predictions from ultrastructural studies of these two segments. 2. The initial potential of the rectal lumen, relative to the haemocoel side, was of opposite polarity in the anterior (−10 mV) and posterior (+ 10 mV) segments and these values decreased to −2 and +6 mV respectively in ligated recta which had secreted for 2 h. 3. A comparison of these potential difference measurements with concentration differences developed across the rectal epithelium under the same experimental conditions indicates that Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Cl- are all actively transported by the posterior segment to the lumen side. 4. The influence of different haemolymph concentrations of Na+, K+, and Cl- on the potential differences across the basal cell border and across the whole rectal epithelium are reported. Based on this and previous data, we propose a model for the organization of transport processes within the single celltype present in the posterior rectal epithelium.

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