Intracellular microelectrode techniques and extracellular pH measurements were used to study the dependence of apical Na+/H+ exchange on mucosal and intracellular pH and on mucosal solution Na+ concentration ([Na+]o). When mucosal solution pH (pHo) was decreased in gallbladders bathed in Na(+)-containing solutions, aNai fell. The effect of pHo is consistent with titration of a single site with an apparent pK of 6.29. In Na(+)-depleted tissues, increasing [Na+]o from 0 to values ranging from 2.5 to 110 mM increased aNai; the relationship was well described by Michaelis-Menten kinetics. The apparent Km was 15 mM at pHo 7.5 and increased to 134 mM at pHo 6.5, without change in Vmax. In Na(+)-depleted gallbladders, elevating [Na+]o from 0 to 25 mM increased aNai and pHi and caused acidification of a poorly buffered mucosal solution upon stopping the superfusion; lowering pHo inhibited both apical Na+ entry and mucosal solution acidification. Both effects can be ascribed to titration of a single site; the apparent pK's were 7.2 and 7.4, respectively. Diethylpyrocarbonate (DEPC), a histidine-specific reagent, reduced mucosal acidification by 58 +/- 4 or 39 +/- 6% when exposure to the drug was at pHo 7.5 or 6.5, respectively. Amiloride (1 mM) did not protect against the DEPC inhibition, but reduced both apical Na+ entry and mucosal acidification by 63 +/- 5 and 65 +/- 9%, respectively. In the Na(+)-depleted tissues mean pHi was 6.7. Cells were alkalinized by exposure to mucosal solutions containing high concentrations of nicotine or methylamine. Estimates of apical Na+ entry at varying pHi, upon increasing [Na+]o from 0 to 25 mM, indicate that Na+/H+ exchange is active at pHi 7.4. Intracellular H+ stimulated apical Na+ entry by titration of more than one site (apparent pK 7.1, Hill coefficient 1.7). The results suggest that external Na+ and H+ interact with one site of the Na+/H+ exchanger and that cytoplasmic H+ acts on at least two sites. The external titratable group seems to be an imidazolium, which is apparently different from the amiloride-binding site. The dependence of Na+ entry on pHi supports the notion that the Na+/H+ exchanger is operational under normal transport conditions.

This content is only available as a PDF.