Chronic metabolic acidosis (CMA) is associated with an adaptive increase in the bicarbonate absorptive capacity of the rat medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL). To specify whether NHE-3, the apical MTAL Na/H exchanger, is involved in this adaptation, NHE-3 mRNA was quantified by a competitive RT- PCR using an internal standard which differed from the wild-type NHE-3 mRNA by an 80-bp deletion. CMA increased NHE-3 mRNA from 0.025 ± 0.003 to 0.042 ± 0.009 amol/ng total RNA (P < 0.005). NHE-3 transport activity was measured as the initial proton flux rate calculated from the Na-dependent cell pH recovery of Na-depleted acidified MTAL cells in the presence of 50 μM HOE694 which specifically blocks NHE-1, the basolateral MTAL NHE isoform. CMA caused a 68% increase in NHE-3 transport activity (P < 0.001). In addition, CMA was associated with a 71% increase in NHE-3 protein abundance (P < 0.05) as determined by Western blot analysis on MTAL membranes using a polyclonal antiserum directed against a cytoplasmic epitope of rat NHE-3. Thus, NHE-3 adapts to CMA in the rat MTAL via an increase in the mRNA transcript that enhances NHE-3 protein abundance and transport activity.
- Na/H exchange
ASJC Scopus subject areas