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J Physiol. 1981 Mar;312:71-80.

The effects of chloride substitution on intracellular pH in crab muscle.


1. Intracellular pH (pHi) was measured in crab muscle fibres using pH-sensitive micro-electrodes. The mean stable pHi was 7.19 +/- 00.2 (S.E. of mean) and the corresponding mean membrane potential was -64.6 +/- 0.4 mV (S.E. of mean) at an external pH of 7.5. 2. The effects on pHi of replacing 20% (100 mM) of the external NaCl by the Na salts of various anions were examined. The anions of weak acid (pK'a greater than 4.5) caused large internal acidifications. The anions of strong acids (pK'a less than 2.6) caused little or no change in pHi. The anions of acids with an intermediate pK'a had varied effects on pHi. In particular salicylate (pK'a = 2.97) was found to cause a large fall in pHi. 3. Increasing the external pH reduced the effects of the anions of weak acids on pHi. It is argued that these effects are the result of the entry and subsequent dissociation of undissociated acid molecules. 4. The results with propionate were quantified by comparing them with the effects of 5% CO2 and were found to be smaller than expected. It is suggested that this is the result of substantial membrane permeability to the propionate anion.

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