Simultaneous recording of cell volume changes and intracellular pH or Ca2+ concentration in single osteosarcoma cells UMR-106-01

S. Muallem, B. X. Zhang, P. A. Loessberg, R. A. Star

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62 Scopus citations


We present a new technique for the simultaneous measurement of cell volume changes and intracellular ionic activities in single cells. The technique uses measurement of changes in the concentration of intracellularly trapped fluorescent dyes to report relative cell volume. By using pH- or Ca2+- sensitive dyes and recording at the ion-sensitive and -insensitive (isosbestic) wavelengths, the method can measure both cell volume changes and intracellular ionic activities. The technique was used to study the mechanisms of regulatory volume decrease (RVD) in the osteosarcoma cell line UMR-106-01 grown on cover slips. Swelling cells in 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1- piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES)-buffered hypotonic medium was followed by stable cytosolic acidification and a decrease in cell volume back toward normal. The recovery of cell volume could be blocked by depolarization, treatment with ouabain, or depletion of cell Cl-. These suggest the conductive efflux of K+ and Cl- during RVD. The cytosolic acidification that accompanied cell swelling was not blocked by amiloride, bafilomycin A, or removal of Cl- and could not be reproduced by depletion of cellular ATP. These findings exclude Na+/H+ and Cl-/HCO3/- exchange, intracellularly generated acid, or increased metabolism, respectively, as the cause of the acidification. The cell swelling-induced acidification was inhibited by depolarization, suggesting the involvement of an electrogenic pathway. The acidification, as well as RVD, was inhibited by short incubation with deoxyglucose, and these effects could not be reversed by valinomycin. Thus, the anionic pathway(s) participating in RVD and the acidification are sensitive to the cellular level of ATP. Together, these studies indicate that RVD in UMR-106-01 cells in HEPES-buffered medium is mediated by the conductive efflux of K+, Cl-, and OH-.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17658-17664
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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