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Constitutive and transport-related endocytotic pathways in turtle bladder epithelium

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Proton secretion in the urinary bladder of the fresh-water turtle is mediated by a proton pump located in the apical membrane of a population of cells characteristically rich in carbonic anhydrase. Earlier studies have demonstrated that these cells exhibit apical-membrane endocytotic and exocytotic processes which are thought to be involved in the regulation of the rate of proton transport via alterations in the number of pumps within the apical membrane. In this study, we sought to characterize these processes using two different methods. Analysis of transepithelial impedance yielded estimates of membrane capacitance which could be related to membrane area, thereby allowing one to monitor net changes in apical-membrane area resulting from changes in the net rates of endo-and exocytosis. Uptake of the fluid-phase marker FITC-dextran provided a measure of net extracellular volume uptake which was related to net rates of endocytosis. Our major conclusions are summarized as follows. The bladder cells exhibit a high baseline rate of endocytosis which appears to be a constitutive process similar to pinocytosis. This process is completely inhibited when ambient temperature is reduced to 15°C. In addition, serosal application of 0.5mm acetazolamide causes a transient increase in the rate of endocytosis, concomitant with a decrease in the rate of transport. Reduction of ambient temperature to 15°C reduces the rate of acetazolamide-induced endocytosis, but does not abolish it. Addition of 1mm serosal azide not only prevents the acetazolamide-induced increase in endocytosis, but also prevents the decrease in transport caused by acetazolamide. Azide has no effect on the baseline rate of endocytosis, nor does it prevent inhibition of carbonic anhydrase by acetazolamide. The specificity of azide, coupled with the different temperature sensitivities, demonstrate that the constitutive and transport-dependent endocytotic pathways are distinct processes. The observation that azide prevents both the acetazolamide-induced increase in endocytosis and the decrease in transport strongly supports the notion that endocytosis of proton-pump-containing membrane is requisite for the inhibition of transport by acetazolamide. Finally, the results also demonstrate that acetazolamide does not inhibit proton secretion simply by inhibiting carbonic anhydrase.

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Dixon, T.E., Clausen, C. & Coachman, D. Constitutive and transport-related endocytotic pathways in turtle bladder epithelium. J. Membrain Biol. 102, 49–58 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01875352

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Key Words

  • acetazolamide
  • azide
  • carbonic anhydrase
  • endocytosis
  • exocytosis
  • FITC-dextran
  • impedance analysis
  • pinocytosis
  • proton transport
  • turtle bladder