Elemental imaging by X-ray microanalysis of fully frozen-hydrated samples shows that when Malpighian tubules of the black field cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus L.) are incubated in saline in which Rb+ has been substituted for K+, Rb+ replaces much of the cellular K+ in the main segment of control Malpighian tubules and this is prevented by incubation in saline containing Ba2+, a non-selective K+ channel blocker. Similarly the amount of cellular K+ is greatly reduced when tubules incubated in normal, i.e. K+ containing, saline are exposed to Ba2+. By considering the amounts of cellular K and Rb remaining in the main segments of tubules incubated in either K+ containing saline or Rb+ containing saline after Ba+ treatment, it is suggested that: (a) a major part (56%) of cellular K+ enters by Ba2+ sensitive K+ channels and that Rb+ can also enter by this route; (b) a smaller fraction (26%) of cellular K+ enters by a previously proposed Na+/K+/2Cl– co-transporter, which can also transport Rb+; (c) a previously proposed Na+/K+-ATPase is responsible for maintaining a K+ pool (18%) in the tubule cells that is not exchangeable by Rb+; and (d) entry by this Na+/K+-ATPase is not available to Rb+.
Marshall, A. T., & Clode, P. (2009). X-ray microanalysis of Rb+ entry into cricket Malpighian tubule cells via putative K+ channels. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 2977-2982. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.032177