Impaired mucin synthesis and bicarbonate secretion in the colon of NHE8 knockout mice

Hua Xu, Bo Zhang, Jing Li, Chunhui Wang, Huacong Chen, Fayez K. Ghishan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Sodium/hydrogen exchanger 8 (NHE8), the newest member of the SLC9 family, is expressed at the apical membrane of the epithelial cells in the intestine and the kidney. Although NHE8 has been shown to be an important player for intestinal sodium absorption early in development, its physiological role in the intestine remains unclear. Here, we successfully created a NHE8 knockout (NHE8 -/-) mouse model to study the function of this transporter in the intestinal tract. Embryonic stem cells containing interrupted NHE8 gene were injected into mouse blastocyst to produce NHE8 +/- chimeras. NHE8 -/- mice showed no lethality during embryonic and fetal development. These mice had normal serum sodium levels and no signs of diarrhea. Apically expressed NHE2 and NHE3 were increased in the small intestine of the NHE8 -/- mice in compensation. The number of goblet cells and mucin (MUC)-positive cells in the colon was reduced in NHE8 -/- mice along with mucosal pH, MUC2 expression as well as downregulated in adenoma (DRA) expression. Therefore, the role of NHE8 in the intestine involves both sodium absorption and bicarbonate secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G335-G343
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • 3
  • And 8
  • Downregulated in adenoma
  • Mucin 2
  • Sodium/hydrogen exchanger 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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