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Am J Physiol. 1988 Jul;255(1 Pt 2):H189-96.

Intracellular pH and inorganic phosphate content of heart in vivo: a 31P-NMR study.

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Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Studies were performed to determine the contribution of red blood cells to the 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum of the canine heart in vivo and the feasibility of measuring myocardial intracellular phosphate and pH. This was accomplished by replacing whole blood with a perfluorochemical perfusion emulsion blood substitute, Oxypherol, and noting the difference in the 31P-NMR spectrum of the heart. NMR data were collected with a NMR transmitter-receiver coil on the surface of the distal portion of the left ventricle. These studies demonstrated that a small (approximately 10%) contribution from 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) and phosphodiesters in the blood could be detected. The magnitude and shift of these blood-borne signals permitted the relative quantification of intracellular inorganic phosphate (Pi) content as well as intracellular pH. Under resting conditions, the intracellular ATP/Pi was 7.0 +/- 0.8 (n = 19). This corresponds to a free intracellular Pi content of approximately 0.8 mumol/g wet wt. The intracellular pH was 7.10 +/- 0.01 (n = 19). Acute respiratory alkalosis and acidosis, with the arterial pH ranging from approximately 7.0 to 7.7, resulted in only small changes in the intracellular pH (approximately 0.1 pH unit). These latter results demonstrate an effective myocardial intracellular proton-buffering mechanism in vivo.

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