Leucocyte intracellular pH and Na(+)-H+ exchange activity in essential hypertension: an in vitro study under physiological conditions

D J Goldsmith, R M Tribe, L Poston, F P Cappuccio, N D Markandu, G A MacGregor, P J Hilton

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The cellular basis for essential hypertension remains obscure. Abnormal ion transport has been demonstrated in both experimental and essential hypertension, raised levels of sodium-lithium (Na(+)-Li+) and sodium-proton (Na(+)-H+) exchange in blood cells being a consistent feature. However, Na(+)-H+ exchange is not the main regulator of intracellular pH at resting pH, while the importance of the contribution of bicarbonate to cellular pH regulation is now increasingly appreciated. Serum and serum-derived growth factors are known to affect intracellular pH and the activity of the Na(+)-H+ antiporter. This study was designed to investigate the activity of Na(+)-H+ exchange in the leucocytes of patients with essential hypertension in the presence of bicarbonate in vitro and to measure the effect of autologous serum on intracellular pH and Na(+)-H+ exchange. Paired serum samples from essential hypertensives and their controls were used on leucocytes from other (unrelated, normotensive) donors to investigate the same parameters. In a study of 30 patients with untreated essential hypertension and 30 controls matched for age, sex, race and body habitus we found no difference in resting pH or buffering capacity (pH 7.28 +/- 0.01 and 32.0 +/- 1.6 mmol/l per pH, hypertensives, versus 7.27 +/- 0.02 and 34.5 +/- 1.8 mmol/l per pH, controls) but a marked difference in the maximal rate of Na(+)-H+ exchange in response to intracellular acidification (57.8 +/- 3.2 mmol/l per min versus 47.2 +/- 1.4 mmol/l per min, P = 0.004).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-53
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991


  • Adult
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypertension
  • Ion Exchange
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Antiporter


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