October 1992
Volume 33, Issue 11
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Articles  |   October 1992
Intracellular pH regulation in fresh and cultured bovine corneal endothelium. I. Na+/H+ exchange in the absence and presence of HCO3-.
Author Affiliations
  • J A Bonanno
    Morton D. Sarver Center for Cornea and Contact Lens Research, University of California, School of Optometry, Berkeley 94720.
  • C Giasson
    Morton D. Sarver Center for Cornea and Contact Lens Research, University of California, School of Optometry, Berkeley 94720.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science October 1992, Vol.33, 3058-3067. doi:
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      J A Bonanno, C Giasson; Intracellular pH regulation in fresh and cultured bovine corneal endothelium. I. Na+/H+ exchange in the absence and presence of HCO3-.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(11):3058-3067.

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Abstract

A detailed comparison of intracellular pH (pHi) regulatory mechanisms was made between fresh (FBCE) and cultured (CBCE) bovine corneal endothelium to: (1) identify the ion transport mechanisms that could directly or indirectly affect transendothelial HCO3- transport; and (2) determine if cultured cells could serve as a model for studying transendothelial bicarbonate transport. We used the pH-sensitive fluorescent probe BCECF-AM to measure pHi. FBCE and CBCE readily incorporated the dye and showed pHi calibration curves that were not significantly different with respect to pK (7.39 for FBCE and 7.35 for CBCE). Resting pHi in bicarbonate free Ringer's (pH 7.5) was significantly lower in cultured cells (7.17 +/- .02, n = 50) than in fresh cells (7.30 +/- .02, n = 54). Steady-state pHi was reduced by addition of 0.5 mmol/l amiloride, a Na+/H+ exchange blocker (-.16 pH U for FBCE, -.18 for CBCE) or removal of Na+ (-.47 pH U for FBCE, -.51 for CBCE). Recovery from an (NH4)2SO4-induced acid load was blocked by Na+ removal, and the rate of recovery was inhibited 74% and 79% in the presence of amiloride for FBCE and CBCE, respectively. The dependence of proton efflux on Na+0 showed simple saturating kinetics (apparent Km = 30 and 31 mmol/l for FBCE and CBCE, respectively), consistent with the presence of Na+/H+ exchange in FBCE and CBCE. Na+/H+ exchange activity, as measured by amiloride-sensitive acid recovery, was inversely proportional to pHi. The activity in FBCE was about twice that in CBCE. Furthermore, the zero flux point for Na+/H+ exchange was at least 0.1 pH U higher in FBCE. Changing from bicarbonate-free Ringer's to bicarbonate Ringer's (5% CO2/28 mmol/l HCO3-, pH 7.5) induced a rapid and short acidification followed by an alkalinization .09 and .18 pH U above the starting pHi for FBCE (final pHi 7.37) and CBCE (final pHi 7.33), respectively. This transition was unaffected by amiloride. Similarly, amiloride had no effect on resting pHi in bicarbonate Ringer's for FBCE or CBCE, indicating that Na+/H+ exchange does not contribute to the maintenance of the steady-state resting pHi in bicarbonate Ringer's. Although most of the characteristics of Na+/H+ exchange for FBCE and CBCE were similar, the differences in overall activity and the low levels of activity in resting cells must be considered when using CBCE to model ion coupled fluid transport in BCE.

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