Jan 1, 1976

Intracellular pH transients in squid giant axons caused by CO2, NH3, and metabolic inhibitors

The Journal of General Physiology
Walter F Boron, P De Weer


The intracellular pH (pHi) of squid giant axons has been measured using glass pH microelectrodes. Resting pHi in artificial seawater (ASW) (pH 7.6-7.8) at 23 degrees C was 7.32 +/- 0.02 (7.28 if corrected for liquid junction potential). Exposure of the axon to 5% CO2 at constant external pH caused a sharp decrease in pHi, while the subsequent removal of the gas caused pHi to overshoot its initial value. If the exposure to CO2 was prolonged, two additional effects were noted: (a) during the exposure, the rapid initial fall in pHi was followed by a slow rise, and (b) after the exposure, the overshoot was greatly exaggerated. Application of external NH4Cl caused pHi to rise sharply; return to normal ASW caused pHi to return to a value below its initial one. If the exposure to NH4Cl was prolonged, two additional effects were noted: (a) during the exposure, the rapid initial rise in pHi was followed by a slow fall, and (b) after the exposure, the undershoot was greatly exaggerated. Exposure to several weak acid metabolic inhibitors caused a fall in pHi whose reversibility depended upon length of exposure. Inverting the electrochemical gradient for H+ with 100 mM K-ASW had no effect on pHi changes resulting from short-term exposure t...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Carbon Dioxide
Ammonium Chloride
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration

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