Prostaglandins have been shown to modulate water flow in anuran amphibian urinary bladders. These experiments examined which fatty acid precursor could be metabolized by bladders, and the effect of metabolites on osmotic water flow. Hemibladders were incubated with precursors or prostaglandins (1 μM) and water flow measured. In addition, hemibladders were incubated with 14C-labelled eicosatrienoic, arachidonic, or eicosapentaenoic acid, and products identified by thin layer chromatography. Addition of prostaglandins E1, E2 and I2 inhibited water flow. Eicosatrienoic acid did not affect water flow. Arachidonic acid inhibited basal water flow, an effect which was not completely reversed with the addition of indomethacin. Eicosapentaenoic acid stimulated water flow, and the stimulation was blocked with indomethacin. Frog urinary bladder did not synthesize any prostaglandins from 14C-eicosatrienoic acid. 14C-arachidonic acid was converted into PGE2 and PGD2. 14C-eicosapentaenoic acid was synthesized into compounds, presumably PGE3 and PGD3, with the opposite physiological effects of two-series prostaglandins. The data suggest that effects of prostaglandins on amphibian bladder depend on the substrate which is metabolized.
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