1. Potassium is the major cation in the secretion of the salivary glands of Calliphora and is necessary for full secretory rates. 2. Other ions (rubidium and sodium) can support secretion in the absence of potassium. 39. During stimulation with 5-HT a Nernst plot of the basal membrane potential has a slope of 53 mV for a tenfold change in external potassium concentration and the slope at rest deviates from this over the range I-20 mM external potassium. 4. Hyperpolarization of the basal membrane by 5-HT is abolished if the chloride in the bathing medium is replaced by isethionate. 5. The diuretic agent amiloride inhibits fluid secretion by a mechanism which may include a reduction in calcium entry in addition to its recognized effect on sodium permeability. 6. A model is proposed in which fluid secretion is driven by the active transport of potassium across the apical membrane with chloride following passively.
1. Fluid secretion by isolated salivary glands was stimulated by elevating the external potassium concentration. 2. The stimulatory effect of potassium was dependent on external calcium and was potentiated by a subthreshold dose of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). 3. During the action of 120 mM potassium there was a large calciumdependent decrease in transepithelial resistance similar to that produced with 5-HT at normal potassium concentrations. 4. These results on Calliphora salivary glands are compared with other cases where cells are activated by high potassium. In most cases, the effect of high potassium is dependent upon calcium, suggesting that the latter plays a primary role in cell activation.