Ouabain-resistant mechanism of volume control and the ultrastructural organization of liver slices recovering from swelling in vitro

G. D V van Rossum, M. A. Russo

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We have studied the net extrusion of water by liver slices recovering from swelling at 1°C and have attempted to relate this to ultrastructural alterations. Special attention was paid to the ouabain-resistant extrusion of water. The restoration of many details of intracellular architecture was dissociated from the net loss of water, since an osmotic stimulus (produced by 5% inulin) caused a passive withdrawal of water with little recovery of structure. Also, a similar recovery of structure was produced during active extrusion of water in the absence and presence of ouabain, even though ouabain reduced the water extrusion by 50%. The time-course of water extrusion in the presence of ouabain was correlated with the formation of cytoplasmic vesicles. Incubation without K+ in the medium had similar effects to those caused by ouabain. Colchicine had little effect on water extrusion in presence or absence of ouabain except at concentrations which reduced tissue ATP levels and caused much necrosis. Cytochalasin B alone had little effect on water extrusion, but led to the accumulation of many vesicles in the cytoplasm and appeared to abolish the access of such vesicles to the canaliculi. In the presence of ouabain, cytochalasin B had a similar effect on ultrastructure, and totally prevented the ouabain-resistant water extrusion. Ni2+ had rather similar effects to cytochalasin B both in the presence and absence of ouabain, although to a smaller degree. The results support our previous suggestion that the ouabain-resistant water extrusion proceeds by secretion of water into cytoplasmic vesicles, followed by the exocytotic expulsion of the vesicular contents into the bile canaliculi. Microfilaments appear to play an important role in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-209
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Biophysics


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