Developmental differences in rabbit lung epithelial cell Na+-K+-ATPase

D. L. Chapman, Jonathan Widdicombe, R. D. Bland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Previous studies showed that ouabain-sensitive rubidium (86Rb+) uptake by rabbit lung epithelial cells increases at birth, followed by a more gradual postnatal increase, reaching adult values by age 30 days. To see whether these changes in ouabain-sensitive cation transport were the result of changes in Na+ pump number or turnover rate, we measured binding of [3H]ouabain and ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake by freshly isolated lung epithelial cells harvested from near-term fetal, newborn, and adult rabbits. Ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake by fetal cells was 1/4 that of newborn cells and 1/10 that of adult cells. The maximal number of ouabain binding sites (U(max)) was the same for fetal and newborn cells but almost threefold greater for adult cells. Na+ pump turnover rate, determined from ouabain-sensitive 86Rb+ uptake and U(max), was four times greater in newborn and adult cells than it was in fetal cells. Thus the increase in 86Rb+ uptake at birth could be explained by an increase in Na+-K+-adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) turnover rate, whereas the postnatal increase in 86Rb+ uptake could be accounted for by an increase in the amount of Na+-K+-ATPase per cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6 3-3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • alveolar epithelial cells
  • ion transport
  • lung maturation
  • ouabain binding
  • sodium pumps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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