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Regulation of intracellular ph in reticulospinal neurons of the lamprey petromyzon marinus

, : Regulation of intracellular ph in reticulospinal neurons of the lamprey petromyzon marinus. Journal of Physiology (Cambridge) 381: 241-262

1. The regulation of intracellular pH (pHi) in lamprey reticulospinal neurones was investigated with pH-sensitive micro-electrodes based on a neutral carrier liquid membrane. Experiments were performed using an in vitro brain-stem preparation. 2. In HEPES-buffered solutions, extracellular pH (pHo) was consistenty more acidic than the pH of the bathing solution (pHb). In HCO3--buffered solutions, the brain was also relatively acidic, but the brain pH gradient was smaller. 3. In HEPES- and HCO3--buffered solutions, mean pHi was 7.40-7.50. This range was too high to be explained by a passive distribution of H+,OH- or HCO3-. 4. In nominally HCO3--free, HEPES-buffered solution, cells were acid loaded by addition and subsequent withdrawal of NH4+ from the superfusate. pHi recovered from acid loading by an energy-dependent process in 10-20 min. Recovery from acid loading in HEPES-buffered solutions was blocked by exposure to amiloride. 5. Removal of extracellular Na+ caused a slow, accelerating fall of pHi. Return of Na+ to the bath caused an immediate reversal of this acidification, followed by a slow recovery of pHi. Measurement with Na+-sensitive micro-electrodes during acid loading showed a rapid rise in the intracellular Na+ activity ([Na+]i). 6. Following acid loading, transition from HEPES- to HCO3--buffered solutions caused an increase in the acid extrusion rate of at least 48%. The effect of these solution changes was dependent on pHo. After blocking pHi recovery with amiloride, transition from HEPES- to HCO3--buffered Ringer plus amiloride produced a slow recovery of pHi. 7. Recovery from acid loading in HCO3--buffered solutions was inhibited 65% by the anion transport blocker DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid). Recovery from acid loading after incubation in Cl--free solution was slower than recovery after replenishment of Cl-. 8. It is concluded that in HCO3--free solutions, pHi regulation is accomplished by a Na-H exchange mechanism. In the presence of extracellular HCO3- an additional mechanism can operate to extrude intracellular acid.

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