Cytosolic pH regulation in perfused rat liver: role of intracellular bicarbonate production

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Sep 16;1425(1):224-34. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(98)00075-0.


The contribution of metabolic bicarbonate to cytosolic pH (pHcyto) regulation was studied on isolated perfused rat liver using phosphorus-31 NMR spectroscopy. Removal of external HCO3- decreased proton efflux from 18.6+/-5.0 to 1.64+/-0.29 micromol/min per g liver wet weight (w.w.) and pHcyto from 7.17+/-0.06 to 6.87+/-0.06. In the nominal absence of bicarbonate, inhibition of carbonic anhydrase by acetazolamide induced a further decrease of proton efflux of 0.69+/-0.26 micromol/min per g liver w.w. reflecting a reduction in metabolic CO2 hydration, and hence a decrease of H+ and HCO3- supplies. Even though 27% of the proton efflux was amiloride-sensitive under bicarbonate-free conditions, amiloride did not change pHcyto, revealing the contribution of additional regulatory processes. Indeed, pH regulation was affected by the combined use of 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (SITS) and amiloride since pHcyto decreased by 0.16+/-0.05 and proton efflux by 0.60+/-0.14 micromol/min per g liver w.w. The data suggest that amiloride-sensitive or SITS-sensitive transport activities could achieve, by themselves, pHcyto regulation. The involvement of two mechanisms, most likely Na+/H+ antiport and Na+:HCO3 symport, was confirmed in the whole organ under intracellular and extracellular acidosis. The evidence of Na-dependent transport of HCO3- in the absence of exogenous bicarbonate implies that the amount of metabolic bicarbonate is sufficient to effectively participate to pHcyto regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid / pharmacology
  • Acetazolamide / pharmacology
  • Acidosis / metabolism
  • Amiloride / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates / metabolism*
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Bicarbonates
  • 4-Acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid
  • Amiloride
  • Acetazolamide