A comparison of the effects of intracellular and extracellular pH on contraction in isolated rat portal vein

M Taggart, C Austin, S Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


1. The effects of changes in extracellular and intracellular pH on spontaneous contractile activity in isolated rat portal vein have been investigated. 2. Small strips of portal vein were loaded with the pH-sensitive fluorophore carboxy-SNARF and intracellular pH (pHi) and contraction were measured simultaneously at 37 degrees C. The tissue was superfused with oxygenated, Hepes-buffered solutions at pH 7.4. Intracellular pH was altered by isosmotic substitution of weak acids or bases. External pH (pHo) was altered by addition of strong acid or base to the solution. 3. The mean resting value of pHi was 7.06 +/- 0.03 (n = 28). Alteration of pHi led to changes in spontaneous activity. Addition of butyrate (20 mM) reduced pHi by 0.18 +/- 0.01 pH units (n = 8). Decreasing pHi produced an early, brief increase in contractile activity followed by a longer lasting decrease or even abolition of contraction. 4. Addition of 20 mM trimethylamine or NH4Cl increased pHi by around 0.2 pH units and produced an early transient decrease in contractile activity followed by a later maintained increase, both in frequency and magnitude. Removal of base produced a rapid rebound decrease in pHi which was associated with a further transient increase in contractile activity followed by decreased activity. The effects of base on both pHi and contraction were concentration dependent over the range investigated (2.5-30 mM). 5. Alteration of pHo produced a change in pHi in the portal vein. The pHi change was rapid compared to other non-vascular cells (about 1 min to half-maximal response).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1994


  • Ammonium Chloride/pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Extracellular Space/metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid/metabolism
  • Male
  • Methylamines/pharmacology
  • Muscle, Smooth/drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/drug effects
  • Portal Vein/drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vasoconstriction/drug effects


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