We compared the effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) on intracellular pH, intracellular [Ca2+](i), and cell contraction in hypertrophied adult ventricular myocytes from ascending aortic banded rats and age-matched controls. Intracellular pH (pH(i)) was measured in individual myocytes with SNARF-1, and [Ca2+](i) was measured with indo-1, simultaneous with cell motion. Experiments were performed at 36°C in myocytes paced at 0.5 Hz in Hepes-buffered solution (pH(o) 7.40) containing 1.2 mM CaCl2. At baseline, calibrated pH(i), diastolic and systolic [Ca2+](i) values, and the amplitude of cell contraction were similar in hypertrophied and control myocytes. Exposure of the control myocytes to 10 nM ET-1 caused an increase in the amplitude of cell contraction to 163 ± 22% of baseline (P < 0.05), associated with intracellular alkalinization (pH(i) + 0.08±0.02 U, P < 0.05) and a slight increase in peak systolic [Ca2+](i) (104±1% of baseline, P < 0.05). In contrast, in the hypertrophied myocytes, exposure to ET-1 did not increase the amplitude of cell contraction or cause intracellular alkalinization (-0.01 ± 0.02 U, NS). Similar effects were observed in the hypertrophied and control myocytes in response to exposure to 10 nM angiotensin II. ET-1 also increased the rate of recovery from intracellular acidosis induced by the washout of NH4Cl in the control cells, but did not do so in the hypertrophied cells. In the presence of 10 μM 5-(N-ethyl-N- isopropyl)-amiloride, which inhibits Na+-H+ exchange, ET-1 did not cause a positive inotropic effect or intracellular alkalinization in control cells. The activation of protein kinase C by exposure to phorbol ester caused intracellular alkalinization and it increased the rate of recovery from intracellular acidification induced by an NH4Cl pulse in control cells but not in hypertrophied cells. ET-1, as well as angiotensin II, and phorbol ester, fail to stimulate forward Na+-H+ exchange in adult hypertrophied myocytes. These data suggest a defect in the coupling of protein kinase C signaling with Na+-H+ exchange in adult hypertrophied myocytes.
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