Ouabain-induced stimulation of sodium-hydrogen exchange in rat optic nerve astrocytes

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Sodium-dependent transporters are inhibited indirectly by the Na-K-ATPase inhibitor ouabain. Here we report stimulation of sodium-hydrogen exchange (NHE) in ouabain-treated cells. BCECF was used to measure cytoplasmic pH in cultured rat optic nerve astrocytes. Ammonium chloride was applied to acid load the cells. On removal of ammonium chloride, cytoplasmic pH fell abruptly, then gradually recovered toward baseline. Ouabain (1 μM) did not change cell sodium content, but the rate of pH recovery increased by 68%. Ouabain speeded pH recovery both in the presence and absence of bicarbonate. In bicarbonate-free medium, dimethylamiloride, an NHE inhibitor, eliminated the effect of 1 μM ouabain on pH recovery. Western blot analysis showed an NHE1 immunoreactive band but not NHE2, NHE3, or NHE4. Immunoprecipitation studies showed phosphorylation of NHE1 in cells treated with 1 μM ouabain. Ouabain evoked an increase of cAMP, and the effect of 1 μM ouabain on pH recovery was abolished by H-89, a protein kinase A inhibitor. 8-Bromoadenosine-cAMP increased the pH recovery rate, and this recovery was not further increased by ouabain. Although 1 μM ouabain did not alter cytoplasmic calcium concentration, it stimulated calcium entry after store depletion, a response abolished by 2-APB. Ouabain-induced stimulation of pH recovery was suppressed by inhibitors of capacitative calcium entry, SKF-96365, and 2-APB, as well as the cytoplasmic calcium chelator BAPTA. The cAMP increase in ouabain-treated cells was abolished by BAPTA and 2-APB. Taken together, the results are consistent with increased capacitative calcium entry and subsequent cAMP-PKA-dependent stimulation of NHE1 in ouabain-treated cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C100-C110
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate
  • Astrocytes
  • Capacitative calcium entry
  • pH recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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