Effect of cold acclimation on Na+/K+ transport in hamster liver cells

Barbara A Horwitz, S. D. Clark, J. Hamilton, J. Guttas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of prolonged cold exposure of Syrian hamsters on liver membrane (Na+/K+-ATPase activity and on liver intracellular K+ levels was examined. Membrane preparations from cold-acclimated hamsters (6°C for 3 weeks) exhibited significantly higher Vmax values for (Na+/K+)-ATPase and significantly greater ouabain binding. These data support the view that in the liver of these cold-exposed hamsters, there is an increase in the number of operational pumps. The fact that the intact liver cells (isolated via liver perfusion) from the cold-acclimated hamsters: (a) did not have higher concentrations of intracellular K+ (despite the presence of more operational pumps); and (b) exhibited greater rates of K+ loss when the pumps were inhibited by maximal ouabain suggests that the K+ leak across the liver cell plasma membrane is increased in the cold-acclimated hamsters. Although the physiological significance of these results needs further evaluation, these membrane changes may be of adaptive value for hibernation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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