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1. The dual-emission pH-sensitive fluoroprobe carboxy-SNARF-1 (carboxy-seminaptharhodofluor) was used to measure pHi in type I cells enzymically dispersed from the neonatal rat carotid body. 2. Steady-state pHi in cells bathed in a HEPES-buffered Tyrode solution (pH 7.4) was found to be remarkably alkaline (pHi = 7.77) whereas cells bathed in a CO2-HCO3(-)-buffered Tyrode solution (pH 7.4) had a more 'normal' pHi (pHi = 7.28). These observations were further substantiated by using an independent nullpoint test method to determine pHi. 3. Intracellular intrinsic buffering (beta, determined by acidifying the cell using an NH4Cl pre-pulse) was in the range 7-20 mM per pH unit and appeared to be dependent upon pHi with beta increasing as pHi decreased. 4. In cells bathed in a HEPES-buffered Tyrode solution, pHi recovery from an induced intracellular acid load (10 mM-NH4Cl pre-pulse) was inhibited by the Na(+)-H+ exchange inhibitor ethyl isopropyl amiloride (EIPA; 150 microM) or substitution of Nao+ with N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMG). Both EIPA and Nao+ removal also caused a rapid intracellular acidification, which in the case of Nao+ removal, was readily reversible. The rate of this acidification was similar for both Nao+ removal and EIPA addition. 5. Transferring cells from a HEPES-buffered Tyrode solution to one buffered with 5% CO2-HCO3- resulted in an intracellular acidification which was partially, or wholly, sustained. The rate of acidification upon transfer to CO2-HCO3- was considerably slowed by the membrane permeant carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, acetazolamide, thus indicating the presence of the enzyme in these cells. 6. In CO2-HCO3(-)-buffered Tyrode solution, pHi recovery from an intracellular acidosis (NH4+ pre-pulse) was only partially inhibited by EIPA or amiloride whereas Nao+ removal completely inhibited the recovery. The stilbene DIDS (4,4-diisothiocyanatostilbenedisulphonic acid, 200 microM) also partially inhibited pHi recovery following an induced intracellular acidosis. Furthermore, the pre-treatment with 200 microM-DIDS of a pre-acidified cell in Na(+)-free Tyrode solution completely inhibited pHi recovery when Nao+ was reintroduced together with concomitant addition of 150 microM-EIPA. We conclude, that in the presence of CO2-HCO3-, a Na(+)- and HCO3-dependent (DIDS inhibitable) mechanism aids acid extrusion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original publication




Journal article


J Physiol

Publication Date





107 - 129


4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-Disulfonic Acid, 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid, Amiloride, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Bicarbonates, Buffers, Carotid Body, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Meglumine, Rats, Sodium, Spectrometry, Fluorescence