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tight junctions at the apical ends, but are relatively permeable to water and solutes at the basal ends. As Na+ is pumped into the intercellular space near the apical end, Cl" follows, creating a hypertonic solution, and water enters passively. The movement of water molecules creates an osmotic gradient, hypertonic at the apical end and isotonic at the basal end, within the lateral spaces. This is known as a standing osmotic gradient. During absorption, the spaces swell because of the increased hydrostatic pressure created by the entering water. This hydrostatic pressure produces a gradient for the absorption of an isotonic solution by the nearby capillaries. In this manner an isotonic solution is absorbed and carried away by the blood.

Expulsion of Bile

The gall bladder begins to contract rhythmically and expel bile into the duodenum within 30 min of a meal. The principal stimulus is hormonal, although contrac-

TABLE 3 Regulatory Mechanisms in Biliary Physiology

Stimulus

Target

Effect

Bile acids Liver

(in portal circulation) Hepatocytes Secretin Liver

Bile ducts

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