Na+:H+ and Cl-:HCO3- exchange are localized, respectively, to basolateral (blLPM) and canalicular (cLPM) rat liver plasma membranes. To determine whether these exchangers play a role in bile formation, we examined the effect of a choleretic agent, ursodeoxycholate (UDCA), on these exchange mechanisms. 22Na (1 mM) and 36Cl (5 mM) uptake was determined using outwardly directed H+ and HCO3- gradients, respectively. Preincubation of blLPM vesicles with UDCA (0-500 microM) resulted in a concentration-dependent increase in initial rates of amiloride-sensitive pH-driven Na+ uptake, with a maximal effect at 200 microM. UDCA (200 microM) increased Vmax from 23 +/- 2 (control) to 37 +/- 7 nmol/min per mg protein; apparent Km for Na+ was unchanged. Preincubation with tauroursodeoxycholate (200 microM), taurocholate (10-200 microM) or cholate, chenodeoxycholate, or deoxycholate (200 microM) had no effect on pH-driven Na+ uptake. UDCA (200 microM) had no effect on either membrane lipid fluidity, assessed by steady-state fluorescence polarization using the probes 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene, 12-(9-anthroyloxy) stearic acid, and 2-(9-anthroyloxy) stearic acid (2-AS), or Na+,K+-ATPase activity in blLPM vesicles. In cLPM vesicles, UDCA (0-500 microM) had no stimulatory effect on initial rates of HCO3(-)-driven Cl- uptake. Enhanced basolateral Na+:H+ exchange activity, leading to intracellular HCO3- concentrations above equilibrium, may account for the bicarbonate-rich choleresis after UDCA infusion.


R H Moseley, N Ballatori, D J Smith, J L Boyer


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