Sodium-hydrogen exchange and its role in controlling contractility during acidosis in cardiac muscle.
Vaughan-Jones RD., Wu ML., Bountra C.
Intracellular pH (pHi) and Na (aina) were recorded in isolated sheep cardiac Purkinje fibres using ion-selective microelectrodes while simultaneously recording twitch tension. A fall of pHi stimulated acid-extrusion via sarcolemmal Na-H exchange but the extrusion was inhibited by reducing extracellular pH (pHo), indicating an inhibitory effect of external H ions upon the exchanger. Intracellular acidosis can reduce contraction by directly reducing myofibrillar Ca2+ sensitivity. The activation of Na-H exchange at low pHi can offset this direct inhibitory effect of H+ ions since exchange-activation elevates aina which then indirectly elevates Ca2+i (via Na-Ca exchange) thus tending to restore tension. This protection of contraction during intracellular acidosis can be removed if extracellular pH is also allowed to fall since, under these conditions, Na-H exchange is inhibited.