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Effects of amiloride on intracellular pH and thermosensitivity

International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0360-3016(91)90067-e
  • Hyperthermia
  • Amiloride
  • Thermosensitivity
  • Intracellular Ph
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Abstract Amiloride, a diuretic drug, is a potent inhibitor of Na + H + exchange through the plasma membrane, and has been reported to enhance thermal damage in tumor cells in vitro. We investigated the possible relationship between changes in the thermal response of SCK mouse mammary tumor cells in vitro and changes in intracellular (pHi) due to amiloride in the present study. At a concentration of 0.5 mM, amiloride reduced the shoulder (Dq without causing significant change in the slope (Do) of the survival curve of SCK cells heated once at 43°C. On the other hand, 0.5 mM of amiloride sensitized thermotolerant cells to heat as shown by a reduction in Do. The presence of amiloride during the interval between the first and second beatings slightly reduced or inhibited the development of thermotolerance. The pHi was measured with the BCECF fluorescence method. The presence of 0.5 mM amiloride significantly reduced pHi in both pH 7.2 and 6.6 medium. Heating the SCK cells at 43°C in pH 7.2 or 6.6 medium also reduced the pHi. The combined effect of heat and amiloride in reducing the pHi of SCK cells was additive. These results suggest that the effects of amiloride on the thermal response of SCK cells might be mediated in part by a decrease in pHi. The possibility that the effects of amiloride on the thermal response of tumor cells are mediated by other biochemical changes, such as inhibition of protein synthesis, however, could not be ruled out.

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