[en] active transport ; ATP ; chloride ; neuroblastoma cells ; NKCC1
[en] In immature neurones, the steady-state intracellular Cl- concentration [Cl-](i) is generally higher than expected for passive distribution, and this is believed to be due to Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) co-transport. Here, we show that N2a neuroblastoma cells, incubated in HEPES-buffered NaCl medium maintain a [Cl-](i) around 60 mm, two- to threefold higher than expected for passive distribution at a membrane potential of - 49 mV. When the cells were transferred to a Cl(-) -free medium, [Cl-](i) decreased quickly (t(1/2) < 5 min), suggesting a high Cl- permeability. When the intracellular ATP concentration was reduced to less than 1 mm by metabolic inhibitors, the initial rate of (36) Cl- uptake was strongly inhibited (60-65%) while steady-state [Cl-](i) decreased to 24 mm, close to the value predicted from the Nernst equilibrium. Moreover, after reduction of [ATP](i) and [Cl-](i) by rotenone, the subsequent addition of glucose led to a reaccumulation of Cl-, in parallel with ATP recovery. Internal bicarbonate did not affect Cl- pumping, suggesting that Cl-/HCO(3)(-) exchange does not significantly contribute to active transport. Likewise, Na(+) -K(+) -2Cl(-) co-transport also appeared to play a minor role: although mRNA for the NKCC1 form of the co-transporter was detected in N2a cells, neither the initial rate of (36)Cl- uptake nor steady-state [Cl-](i) were appreciably decreased by 10 microm bumetanide or replacement of external Na(+) by choline. These results suggest that a highly active ATP-dependent mechanism, distinct from Na(+) -K(+) -2Cl(-) co-transport, is responsible for most of the inward Cl- pumping in N2a cells.