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Am J Physiol. 1991 Nov;261(5 Pt 1):G803-9.

Plasma membrane H(+)-HCO3- transport in rat hepatocytes: a principal role for Na(+)-coupled HCO3- transport.

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


Na(+)-coupled HCO3- transport has been demonstrated in the basolateral membrane of hepatocytes, but there is uncertainty regarding its stoichiometry or capacity compared with other mechanisms of H(+)-HCO3- transport. After preincubation in medium free of Na+, either in the presence or absence of HCO3(-)-CO2, rat hepatocytes in primary culture were reexposed to Na+ or HCO3(-)-CO2 alone or in combination. Transporter electrogenicity was assessed by measuring membrane potential difference (PD), and the relative capacities of Na(+)-coupled HCO3- transport, Cl(-)-HCO3- exchange, and Na(+)-H+ exchange were assessed by measuring the magnitude and rate of change of intracellular pH (pHi) using BCECF. In the absence of Na+, exposure to HCO3- alone had no consistent effect on PD or pHi. In the absence of HCO3-, reexposure to Na+ depolarized cells by 3 +/- 1 mV and caused an amiloride-inhibitable increase in pHi of 0.031 +/- 0.02 units/min. In the presence of HCO3-, reexposure to Na+ hyperpolarized cells by -14 +/- 5 mV and increased pHi at a rate of 0.133 +/- 0.11 units/min; both the hyperpolarization and alkalinization were inhibited by SITS but unaffected by amiloride. These changes in PD indicate that Na(+)-coupled HCO3- transport is electrogenic, consistent with coupling of more than one HCO3- to each Na+. Furthermore, SITS-inhibitable Na(+)-dependent alkalinization exceeds amiloride-inhibitable Na(+)-dependent alkalinization by an order of magnitude, suggesting that the transport capacity of Na(+)-coupled HCO3- transport exceeds that of Na(+)-H+ exchange.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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