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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1988 Nov 22;945(2):127-34.

Purification and Na+ uptake by human placental microvillus membrane vesicles prepared by three different methods.

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Department of Child Health, University of Manchester, St Mary's Hospital, U.K.


Three methods were used to prepare microvillus membrane vesicles from each of six human placentas. Two of these incorporated an agitation stage to preferentially remove microvilli and either Ca2+ (Method 1) or Mg2+ (Method 2) aggregation of non-microvillus membrane. The third method involved homogenisation of the tissue followed by Mg2+ aggregation of non-microvillus membrane (Method 3). Enrichment of alkaline phosphatase activity (27.6 +/- 1.9, 25.3 +/- 2.7) and ouabain binding (5.9 +/- 2.6, 5.3 +/- 2.2, respectively) was similar in vesicles prepared by Methods 1 and 2, respectively. Method 3 vesicles showed a significantly (P less than 0.01) lower alkaline phosphatase enrichment (18.1 +/- 1.2), but ouabain binding enrichment (6.3 +/- 1.3) was not different and vesicle protein recovery (mg/g placenta) was 5-fold greater. Na+ uptake in the presence of an outwardly directed proton gradient was significantly inhibited in all microvillus membrane vesicles by amiloride (0.5 mM). However, the amiloride sensitive component of Na+ uptake was 3-6-fold greater in Method 3 vesicles than in Method 1 and 2 vesicles, and showed overshoot above equilibrium in the former but not the latter. Further experiments using the pH sensitive dye, 2',7'-bis(carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein suggested that the proton gradient dissipated faster from Method 1 than from Method 3 vesicles. Thus methodological differences can have a marked effect on transport processes in microvillus membrane vesicles prepared from the human placenta.

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