31P-NMR in vivo measurement of renal intracellular pH: effects of acidosis and K+ depletion in rats

Am J Physiol. 1986 Nov;251(5 Pt 2):F904-10. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1986.251.5.F904.


Renal intracellular pH (pHi) was measured in vivo from the chemical shift (sigma) of inorganic phosphate (Pi), obtained by 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). pH was calculated from the difference between sigma Pi and sigma alpha-ATP. Changes of sigma Pi closely correlated with changes of sigma monophosphoesters; this supports the hypothesis that the pH determined from sigma Pi represents pHi. Renal pH in control rats was 7.39 +/- 0.04 (n = 8). This is higher than pHi of muscle and brain in vivo, suggesting that renal Na-H antiporter activity raises renal pHi. To examine the relationship between renal pH and ammoniagenesis, rats were subjected to acute (less than 24 h) and chronic (4-7 days) metabolic acidosis, acute (20 min) and chronic (6-8 days) respiratory acidosis, and dietary potassium depletion (7-21 days). Acute metabolic and respiratory acidosis produced acidification of renal pHi. Chronic metabolic acidosis (arterial blood pH, 7.26 +/- 0.02) lowered renal pHi to 7.30 +/- 0.02, but chronic respiratory acidosis (arterial blood pH, 7.30 +/- 0.05) was not associated with renal acidosis (pH, 7.40 +/- 0.04). At a similar level of blood pH, pHi was higher in chronic metabolic acidosis than in acute metabolic acidosis, suggesting an adaptive process that raises pHi. Potassium depletion (arterial blood pH, 7.44 +/- 0.05) was associated with a marked renal acidosis (renal pH, 7.17 +/- 0.02). There was a direct relationship between renal pH and cardiac K+. Rapid partial repletion with KCl (1 mmol) significantly increased renal pHi from 7.14 +/- 0.03 to 7.31 +/- 0.01.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / metabolism*
  • Acidosis, Respiratory / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Phosphorus
  • Hydrogen
  • Adenosine Triphosphate