Extracellular H+ fluxes from tiger salamander Müller (glial) cells measured using self-referencing H+-selective microelectrodes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Self-referencing H+-selective electrodes were used to measure extracellular H+ fluxes from Müller (glial) cells isolated from the tiger salamander retina. A novel chamber enabled stable recordings using H+-selective microelectrodes in a self-referencing format using bicarbonate-based buffer solutions. A small basal H+ flux was observed from the end foot region of quiescent cells bathed in 24 mM bicarbonate-based solutions, and increasing extracellular potassium induced a dose-dependent increase in H+ flux. Barium at 6 mM also increased H+ flux. Potassium-induced extracellular acidifications were abolished when bicarbonate was replaced by 1 mM HEPES. The carbonic anhydrase antagonist benzolamide potentiated the potassium-induced extracellular acidification, while 300 ?M DIDS, 300 ?M SITS, and 30 ?M S0859 significantly reduced the response. Potassium-induced extracellular acidifications persisted in solutions lacking extracellular calcium, although potassium-induced changes in intracellular calcium monitored with Oregon Green were abolished. Exchange of external sodium with choline also eliminated the potassium-induced extracellular acidification. Removal of extracellular sodium by itself induced a transient alkalinization, and replacement of sodium induced a transient acidification, both of which were blocked by 300 ?M DIDS. Recordings at the apical portion of the cell showed smaller potassium-induced extracellular H+ fluxes, and removal of the end foot region further decreased the H+ flux, suggesting that the end foot was the major source of acidifications. These studies demonstrate that self-referencing H+-selective electrodes can be used to monitor H+ fluxes from retinal Müller cells in bicarbonate-based solutions and confirm the presence of a sodium-coupled bicarbonate transporter, the activity of which is largely restricted to the end foot of the cell.NEW & NOTEWORTHY The present study uses self-referencing H+-selective electrodes for the first time to measure H+ fluxes from Müller (glial) cells isolated from tiger salamander retina. These studies demonstrate bicarbonate transport as a potent regulator of extracellular levels of acidity around Müller cells and point toward a need for further studies aimed at addressing how such glial cell pH regulatory mechanisms may shape neuronal signaling.

publication date

  • December 1, 2017