Current evidence suggests that intestinal crypt and villus cells have different functions in electrolyte transport. To study the regulation of transporters, we isolated and separated these two cell types. This was accomplished by sequential collection of enterocytes from rabbit ileal loops incubated with buffered solutions of calcium chelators. Alkaline phosphatase and thymidine kinase activity, sodium-glucose cotransport, and morphological criteria were used to determine cell separation. Cell viability was evaluated with trypan blue exclusion, leucine incorporation into protein, and morphological features. The role of Na(+)-H+ and Cl(-)-HCO3- exchange in the regulation of intracellular pH was analyzed using an intracellular pH sensitive dye, BCECF. Removal of external Na+ or the addition of amiloride resulted in acidification of both crypt and villus cells. Removal of Cl- or the addition of DIDS resulted in alkalinization of both cell types. The cells could be acidified with NH4Cl, and recovery from this acid load was dependent on Na+ and inhibited by amiloride. Similarly, the cells could be alkalinized with propionate and recovery was Cl- dependent and DIDS sensitive. These data are consistent with the presence of Na(+)-H+ and Cl(-)-HCO3- exchange in both crypt and villus cells. Both exchanges appear to be involved in the regulation of basal pH as well as in recovery from alterations in intracellular pH. Having demonstrated the presence of Na(+)-H+ and Cl(-)-HCO3- exchange activity in both crypt and villus cells, we can now use these cells to determine the regulation of these exchangers by intracellular second messengers.
- Copyright © 1991 the American Physiological Society