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Am J Physiol. 1991 May;260(5 Pt 2):R916-24.

Homeoviscous adaptation and thermal compensation of sodium pump of trout erythrocytes.

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Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.


The effects of thermal acclimation of trout on the transport activity and turnover number of the erythrocyte Na+ pump have been determined. Na+ pump activity was estimated by measuring the ouabain-sensitive K+ influx in Na(+)-loaded cells and the number of active pumps determined by Scatchard analysis of [3H]ouabain binding and by correlation of ouabain binding with pump inhibition. Cold acclimation was associated with an increase in pump activity of up to 60%, although the furosemide-sensitive and residual fluxes were unaffected. The number of ouabain binding sites was similar in both acclimation groups at approximately 21,000-23,000 sites/cell. This means that cold acclimation induced an increase in the transport turnover number of pump molecules from approximately 6 to 9 s-1. Cold acclimation was also associated with a decrease in membrane order as indicated by steady-state fluorescence polarization of the membrane probe, 1,3-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene, with a homeoviscous efficacy of 25-41%. That membrane order may influence pump transport activity is supported by experiments on cholesterol supplementation, which caused both an increase in membrane order and a decrease in pump turnover number. The degree of pump compensation was dependent on the season, with greatest responses in the late spring and declining responses through to winter. By contrast, changes in membrane order were observed throughout the year. Expression of pump activity and erythropoiesis may vary throughout the seasonal cycle in complex ways that confuse the direct comparison study of cellular properties in a heterogeneous population of cells.

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