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K M Crawford, S A Ernst, R F Meyer, D K MacCallum; NaK-ATPase pump sites in cultured bovine corneal endothelium of varying cell density at confluence.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(7):1317-1326. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: The driving force for ion and water flow necessary for efficient deturgesence of the corneal stroma resides in the ouabain-sensitive sodium (Na) pump of corneal endothelial cells. Using a cell culture model of corneal endothelial cell hypertrophy, the authors examined the expression of Na pumps at the cell surface to see how this central element of the endothelial pump changed as corneal endothelial cell density decreased to a level associated with corneal decompensation in vivo. METHODS: 3H-ouabain binding to NaK-ATPase at saturating conditions was used to quantitate the number of Na pump sites on cultured bovine corneal endothelial cells as the confluent density decreased from approximately 2750 cells/mm2 to approximately 275 cells/mm2. RESULTS: The mean number of Na pump sites per cell at confluence (1.92 +/- 0.07 x 10(6)) did not change as the cell density decreased 2.7-fold from 2763 cells/mm2 to 1000 cells/mm2. However, pump site expression doubled to approximately 4 x 10(6) sites/cell as the cell density decreased from 1000 cells/mm2 to 275 cells/mm2. Despite the incremental increase in Na pump site expression that occurred as the cells hypertrophied below a density of 1000/mm2 to achieve confluence, this increase was insufficient to prevent a decrease in Na pump site density of the intact monolayer, expressed as pump sites/mm2. CONCLUSION: The confluent cell density of cultured bovine corneal endothelial cells can be varied from that found in the normal native cornea to that associated with corneal decompensation. In confluent cultures with cell densities ranging from 2750 cells/mm2 to 1000 cells/mm2, the number of pump sites per cell remains relatively unchanged. Below cell densities of 1000 cells/mm2, the number of pump sites per cell progressively increases. The increased Na pump site abundance in markedly hypertrophied endothelial cells cannot adequately compensate for the progressive reduction in the number of transporting cells per unit area within the intact monolayer. Even when considered with the decrease in the size of the paracellular ion conductive pathway that is a consequence of progressive endothelial hypertrophy, the overall pumping capacity of the intact endothelial monolayer declines.
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