Regulation of hepatic Na+-HCO3/- cotransport and pH by membrane potential difference

J. G. Fitz, S. D. Lidofsky, B. F. Scharschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Hepatocytes possess several mechanisms for membrane acid-base transport, which work in concert to maintain intracellular pH (pH(i)) in a narrow physiological range, despite metabolic processes that produce and consume substantial quantities of H+ and HCO3/-, Na+-H+ and Cl--HCO3/- exchangers contribute to recovery from intracellular acidosis and alkalosis, respectively, but are largely inoperative at physiological values of pH(i). Recent studies indicate that hepatocytes also possess a mechanism for coupled transport of Na+ and HCO3/- across the basolateral membrane. This appears to be the dominant pathway for membrane acid-base transport operative under basal conditions, mediates influx of Na+ and HCO3/-, and is an important contributor to recovery from intracellular acidosis. In this review, the properties of hepatic Na+-HCO3/- cotransport are described with emphasis on its effects on pH(i) and Na+ homeostasis and on the possible role of membrane potential difference as a signal modulating the rate of HCO3/- influx and pH(i) of hepatocytes through effects on this transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1-G8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 28-1
StatePublished - 1993


  • bicarbonate
  • hepatic transport
  • sodium-hydrogen exchange
  • sodium-potassium- adenosinetriphosphatase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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