Molecular and Functional Diversity of Mammalian Na+/H+ Exchangers

  • John Orlowski
  • Sergio Grinstein


Excess acid produced by cellular metabolism must be buffered or actively extruded in order to maintain acid-base equilibrium and proper cell function. In mammalian as well as other eukaryotic cells, restoration of steady-state pH following acidification is achieved most efficiently by the electroneutral exchange of intracellular H+ for extracellular Na+; a process that is mediated by a family of integral membrane cation transporters commonly referred to as Na+/H+ antiporters or exchangers (NHE). Aside from cytoplasmic pH homeostasis, the NHEs contribute to a spectrum of other physiological processes, including cell volume regulation, fluid secretion, and salt and water absorption across epithelia (1, 2, 3, 4). Additionally, NHE activity is thought to influence cellular events such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, and apoptosis (5,6). Abnormal activities of certain NHEs are also associated with the progression of several disease states, including essential hypertension (7,8), congenital secretory diarrhea (9), diabetes (10, 11, 12, 13), and ischemia/reperfusion-induced injuries to tissues such as heart (14), brain (15) and kidney (16,17). This review is intended to briefly summarize recent findings regarding the molecular and functional heterogeneity of the mammalian NHE gene family.


Macular Densa NHEI Inhibitor Exchanger Gene Autosomal Dominant Spinocerebellar Ataxia Proper Cell Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Orlowski
    • 1
  • Sergio Grinstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Programme in Cell BiologyThe Hospital for Sick Children Research InstituteTorontoCanada

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