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Am J Physiol. 1993 Mar;264(3 Pt 1):G478-85.

Hepatic taurocholate uptake is electrogenic and influenced by transmembrane potential difference.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Uptake of the bile acid taurocholate by hepatocytes is coupled to Na+ influx. The stoichiometry of uptake, however, is uncertain, as is the influence of the transmembrane electrical potential difference (PD) on this process. In this study, we examined the relationship between taurocholate extraction and PD (measured using intracellular microelectrodes) in perfused liver, and we measured taurocholate-induced transport current in cultured hepatocytes using patch-clamp recording techniques. In the perfused liver under basal conditions, PD averaged -28.4 +/- 0.6 (SE) mV, and extraction of 1, 50, and 300 microM taurocholate was 0.95 +/- 0.02, 0.98 +/- 0.01, and 0.41 +/- 0.03, respectively. When the Na+ chemical gradient was decreased by replacing perfusate Na+ with choline, the membrane depolarized to -17.2 +/- 1.1 mV, and taurocholate extraction markedly decreased at all taurocholate concentrations (P < 0.01). When perfusate Na+ concentration was held constant at 137 mM, membrane depolarization induced by substitution of gluconate for perfusate Cl- (-17.9 +/- 0.6 mV) or Cl- for nitrate (-10.3 +/- 2.1 mV) significantly decreased extraction of 300 microM taurocholate. Abrupt exposure to taurocholate produced a concentration-dependent membrane depolarization in the presence of Na+, but not in its absence (P < 0.001). In cultured hepatocytes, exposure to 100 microM taurocholate produced an inward current of -0.056 +/- 0.016 pA/pF at a holding potential of -40 mV. This current was Na+ dependent, and it increased twofold as holding potential was changed from -20 to -50 mV.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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