Changes in pH(i) associated with activation of ion secretion in avian nasal salt gland cells

T. J. Shuttleworth, C. M. Wood

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5 Scopus citations


The fluorescent pH-sensitive dye 2',7'-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) was used to determine changes in intracellular pH (pH(i)) associated with activation of secretion in isolated cells from the salt-secreting avian nasal gland. A correction procedure overcoming artifacts due to BCECF leakage is described. Resting pH(i) averaged 7.15 ± 0.03 and was unaffected by the nominal removal of medium HCO3- or by the addition of the anion-exchange inhibitor 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS) but was significantly reduced by amiloride (7.07 ± 0.02). Muscarinic activation of secretion resulted in a rapid intracellular acidification that was compensated by mechanisms which raised pH(i) to restore approximately resting levels within 5 min. The principal mechanism involved was amiloride-sensitive and independent of any sustained intracellular Ca2+ concentration change. Recovery of pH(i) was also aided by HCO3--dependent and DIDS-sensitive mechanisms not seen in the resting cell. The direction of the latter was pH(i)-dependent, with DIDS further decreasing pH(i) in acidified cells and increasing pH(i) in alkalinized cells. This suggests that the DIDS-sensitive pathways are activated under conditions where pH(i) has been shifted away from resting levels in either direction and act primarily to restore resting pH(i).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C221-C228
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1 31-1
StatePublished - 1992


  • 2',7'-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein
  • Amiloride 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid
  • Anion exchange
  • Exocrine secretion
  • Intracellular calcium concentration
  • Muscarinic receptors
  • Sodium-hydrogen exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)


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