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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2015 Sep-Oct;21(5):290-4. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.164190.

The effects of amiloride and age on oxygen consumption coupled to electrogenic sodium transport in the human sigmoid colon.

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Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.



Aerobic metabolism is necessary for ion transport in many transporting epithelia, including the human colonic epithelium. We assessed the effects of the epithelial sodium channel blocker, amiloride, on oxygen consumption and short-circuit current of the human sigmoid epithelium to determine whether these effects were influenced by the age of the subject.


Segments of the sigmoid colon were obtained from the safety margin of resections performed in patients of 62-77 years of age. Isolated mucosa preparations were obtained and mounted in airtight Ussing chambers, fit for simultaneous measurement of short-circuit current and oxygen concentration, before and after blocking epithelial sodium channels with amiloride (0.1 mmol/L). Regression analyses were performed to assess the associations between short-circuit current, oxygen consumption, and age of the subject as well as to define the relationship between the decreases in short-circuit current and oxygen consumption after blockade.


Epithelial sodium channel blockade caused an 80% reduction in short-circuit current and a 26% reduction in oxygen consumption. Regression analysis indicated that both changes were significantly related (r = 0.884;P = 0.0007). Oxygen consumption decreased by 1 m mol/h/cm2 for each 25 m A/cm2 decrease in short-circuit current. Neither short-circuit current nor oxygen consumption had any significant relationship with the age of the subjects.


The decrease in epithelial oxygen consumption caused by amiloride is proportional to the decrease in short-circuit current and independent of the age of the subject.

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