Scientific article

Proton channels, plasma membrane potential, and respiratory burst in human neutrophils

Published inEuropean journal of haematology, vol. 51, no. 5, p. 309-312
Publication date1993

When confronted with invading microorganisms, neutrophils undergo a number of nearly synchronous reactions including the generation of microbicidal reactive oxygen intermediates by the NADPH oxidase. These reactions are accompanied by a slow depolarization, from resting values of-60 mV to levels probably exceeding 0 mV. The depolarization is transient, indicating that a compensatory charge transport mechanism is activated. Activation of the oxidase system causes a massive burst of metabolic acid generation that would, if uncompensated, lower the intracellular pH of neutrophils by over 5 units, to lethal levels (pH = 2). Neutrophils must therefore possess particularly effective regulatory systems to avoid excessive cytosolic acidification. The recently described H+ conductance of neutrophils may counteract both the acidification and the depolarization. Activation of the H+ conductance occurs at depolarizing voltages and is promoted by cytosolic acidification, a combination that takes place during the respiratory burst. The NADPH oxidase of neutrophils is thus associated to an unusual, particularly efficient mechanism of H+ export and charge compensation. The sequential activation of these two systems causes neutrophils to depolarize through the activation of an electron transport chain, and to repolarize through the activation of a H+ conductance.

  • Cell Membrane/ physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Neutrophils/ physiology
  • Proton Pumps/ physiology
  • Respiratory Burst
Citation (ISO format)
DEMAUREX, Nicolas et al. Proton channels, plasma membrane potential, and respiratory burst in human neutrophils. In: European journal of haematology, 1993, vol. 51, n° 5, p. 309–312.
ISSN of the journal0902-4441

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