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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Apr;298(4):G493-503. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00178.2009. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

AE2 Cl-/HCO3- exchanger is required for normal cAMP-stimulated anion secretion in murine proximal colon.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, USA.


Anion secretion by colonic epithelium is dependent on apical CFTR-mediated anion conductance and basolateral ion transport. In many tissues, the NKCC1 Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter mediates basolateral Cl(-) uptake. However, additional evidence suggests that the AE2 Cl(-)/HCO(3)(-) exchanger, when coupled with the NHE1 Na(+)/H(+) exchanger or a Na(+)-HCO(3)(-) cotransporter (NBC), contributes to HCO(3)(-) and/or Cl(-) uptake. To analyze the secretory functions of AE2 in proximal colon, short-circuit current (I(sc)) responses to cAMP and inhibitors of basolateral anion transporters were measured in muscle-stripped wild-type (WT) and AE2-null (AE2(-/-)) proximal colon. In physiological Ringer, the magnitude of cAMP-stimulated I(sc) was the same in WT and AE2(-/-) colon. However, the I(sc) response in AE2(-/-) colon exhibited increased sensitivity to the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide and decreased sensitivity to the distilbene derivative SITS (which inhibits AE2 and some NBCs), indicating that loss of AE2 results in a switch to increased NKCC1-supported anion secretion. Removal of HCO(3)(-) resulted in robust cAMP-stimulated I(sc) in both AE2(-/-) and WT colon that was largely mediated by NKCC1, whereas removal of Cl(-) resulted in sharply decreased cAMP-stimulated I(sc) in AE2(-/-) colon relative to WT controls. Inhibition of NHE1 had no effect on cAMP-stimulated I(sc) in AE2(-/-) colon but caused a switch to NKCC1-supported secretion in WT colon. Thus, in AE2(-/-) colon, Cl(-) secretion supported by basolateral NKCC1 is enhanced, whereas HCO(3)(-) secretion is diminished. These results show that AE2 is a component of the basolateral ion transport mechanisms that support anion secretion in the proximal colon.

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