Apical membrane Na+/H+ exchange in rat medullary thick ascending limb: pHi-dependence and inhibition by hyperosmolality

Bruns A. Watts, David W. Good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Apical membrane Na+/H+ exchange mediates virtually all of transepithelial HCO-3 absorption in the rat medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL). Regulation of the apical exchanger by intracellular pH (pHi) and hyperosmolality was studied in the isolated, perfused MTAL by measurement of pHi using the fluorescent probe 2′,7′-bis-(carboxyethyl)-5,6-carboxyfluorescein. Under isosmotic conditions (290 mosmol/kg H2O), the Na+/H+ exchange rate increased sigmoidally over the pHi range 7.8 to 6.5 (Hill coefficient = 2.1), consistent with cooperative activation of the exchanger by internal H+. The exchanger had a high apparent affinity for intracellular H+ (apparent pK = 7.36), which resulted in the exchanger being maximally active at resting pHi and insensitive to changes in pHi over the physiologic pHi range (6.5-7.2). Hyperosmolality (590 mosmol/kg H2O) inhibited Na+/H+ exchange by at least 35% at all pHi values studied and induced pHi dependence of the exchanger between 6.5 and 7.2. The inhibition by hyperosmolality appeared to be the result of an acid shift of the pHi dependence curve of the exchanger. These functional properties of apical membrane Na+/H+ exchange can account for our previous observations that hyperosmolality inhibited net HCO-3 absorption and that the rate of HCO-3 absorption did not correlate with pHi. Apical membrane Na+/H+ exchange in the MTAL differs functionally from Na+/H+ exchange in other cell types in which exchanger activity is stimulated rather than inhibited by hyperosmolality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20250-20255
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 12 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Apical membrane Na+/H+ exchange in rat medullary thick ascending limb: pHi-dependence and inhibition by hyperosmolality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this