Na+/H+ exchangers (NHE) play a critical role in many cellular and transport processes in the inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD). Morphologically, the IMCD is divided into the outer (IMCD1), middle (IMCD2), and inner (IMCD3) segments. The inner, IMCD3 segment contains only one cell type, the IMCD cell, which is distinct in ultrastructure and in function from the principal and intercalated cells that are present in other portions of the IMCD. NHEs constitute a gene family containing several isoforms (NHE1, NHE2, NHE3, NHE4 and NHE5) which possess distinct characteristics and serve specialized functions. To understand the molecular basis of NHE-related processes in the IMCD, it is critical to know the molecular identity of the NHEs in this tubule segment. The purpose of the present study was to identify the NHE isoforms present and their polar distribution in IMCD3. Applying the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique to IMCD3 (obtained from distal 50% of inner medulla) of mouse and rat kidneys, we found that NHE1, NHE2 and NHE4, but not NHE3 were expressed in both species. The polar localization of NHE in IMCD3 was examined in tubules isolated from rats and perfused in vitro with HEPES-buffered solutions under isotonic conditions. pHi was measured by BCECF fluorescence. Na+-dependent, amiloride-inhibitable pHi recovery from cell acidification (consistent with NHE) was detected in the basolateral, but not the apical, membrane of IMCD3. We conclude that NHE1, NHE2 and NHE4, but not NHE3, are present in both the mouse and rat IMCD3. Functionally, NHE is limited to the basolateral membrane. Additional studies are needed to determine the physiological roles and regulation of basolateral NHE isoforms in this tubule segment.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 1998
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