The effect of ethanol and acetaldehyde on Na pump function in cultured rat heart cells

David McCall, Kevin Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


To further define the sarcolemmal effects of ethanol and acetaldehyde, their effects on Na pump function were studied in synchronously contracting monolayers of neonatal rat myocardial cells. The effects of ethanol (10 mg/dl to 1000 mg/dl: 2× 10-3 M-0.2 M) and acetaldehyde (10-6 M to 10-4 M) on total 42K influx, ouabain-sensitive 42K influx, Na pump density (from specific 3H-ouabain binding) and pump turnover rates were measured. Applied acutely ethanol had no effect on 42K influx but after 30 min of treatment 42K influx was decreased by 13%, 23% and 48% in 100 mg/dl, 300 mg/dl and 1000mg/dl ethanol respectively. This primarily reflected a decrease in mean ouabain-sensitive K+ influx from a control of 12.54 to 9.90,8.95 and 6.68 (p-mol/cm2/s) in 100, 300 and 1000 mg/dl (2×10-2 M, 6× 10-2 M and 0.2M) ethanol. Acetaldehyde in the concentrations tested had no effect on K+ influx. Ethanol treatment produced a decrease in Na pump density, maximum within 30 min and dosedependent, at concentrations of 100 mg/dl (22%), 300 mg/dl (37%) and 1000 mg/dl (55%). Acetaldehyde had no effect on Na pump density. In the presence of ethanol (300 mg/dl and 1000 mg/dl) intracellular Na+ increased significantly and the Na+ efflux declined in parallel with the K+ influx. From the ouabain-sensitive K+ and Na+ fluxes and the Na pump density individual pump turnover rates were calculated at 62.5/s in control cells and 66/s and 84/s in cells treated with 300 mg/dl (6× 10-2 M) and 1000mg/dl (0.2 M) respectively. We conclude that ethanol, but not acetaldehyde has a depressant effect on sarcolemmal Na pump function. The results suggest this is due primarily to a decrease in the number of sarcolemmal Na pump sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-463
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1987


  • Acetaldehyde
  • Ethanol
  • Glycoside binding
  • Ion exchange
  • Na Pump
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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