Electrogenic Na+/K+-transport in human endothelial cells

Masahiro Oike, Guy Droogmans, Rik Casteels, Bernd Nilius

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Na+/K+ pump currents were measured in endothelial cells from human umbilical cord vein using the whole-cell or nystatin-perforated-patch-clamp technique combined with intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) measurements with Fura-2/AM. Loading endothelial cells through the patch pipette with 40 mmol/l [Na+] did not induce significant changes of [Ca2+]i. Superfusing the cells with K+-free solutions also did not significantly affect [Ca2+]i. Reapplication of K+ after superfusion of the cells with K+-free solution induced an outward current at a holding potential of 0 mV. This current was nearly completely blocked by 100 μmol/l dihydroouabain (DHO) and was therefore identified as a Na+/K+ pump current. During block and reactivation of the Na+/K+ pump no changes in [Ca2+]i could be observed. Pump currents were blocked concentration dependently by DHO. The concentration for half-maximal inhibition was 21 μmol/l. This value is larger than that reported for other tissues and the block was practically irreversible. Insulin (10-1000 U/l) did not affect the pump currents. An increase of the intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]i) enhanced the amplitude of the pump current. Half-maximal activation of the pump current by [Na+]i occurred at about 60 mmol/l. The concentration for half-maximal activation by extracellular K+ was 2.4±1.2 mmol/l, and 0.4±0.1 and 8.7±0.7 mmol/l for Tl+ and NH4+ respectively. The voltage dependence of the DHO-sensitive current was obtained by applying linear voltage ramps. Its reversal potential was more negative than -150 mV. Pump currents measured with the conventional whole-cell technique were about four times smaller than pump currents recorded with the nystatin-perforated-patch method. If however 100 μmol/l guanosine 5′-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTPγS) were added to the pipette solution, the currents measured in the ruptured-whole-cell-mode were not significantly different from the currents measured with the perforated-patch technique. We suppose that the use of the perforated-patch technique prevents wash out of a guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G-protein)-connected intracellular regulator that is necessary for pump activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalPflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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