Adaptive enhancement of amino acid uptake and exodus by thymic lymphocytes: Influence of ph

William A. Peck, Linda H. Rockwell, Marshall A. Lichtman

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    Entry of certain free amino acids (alpha aminoisobutyric acid (AIB), alanine and proline), but not of leucine into rat thymic lymphocytes increased progressively when the cells were incubated in amino acid deficient medium. Actinomycin D, cycloheximide, or a high concentration of AIB abolished the time‐related increase in AIB accumulation, whereas exposure to a high concentration of leucine had no effect. This phenomenon could not be attributed to a progressive alteration in the nature of the incubation medium nor to reduced transinhibition of AIB uptake. The exodus of AIB also increased with time, but to a smaller degree than AIB entry. Initial rates of AIB entry and exodus increased with increases in the pH of the incubation medium over the range 6.5–8.0. The effects of pH on entry and exodus were time‐related, increasing progressively over a 180‐minute period. Actinomycin D, cycloheximide, and 5 mM AIB nullified the magnified time related increments in AIB transport caused by prolonged incubation at pH 8.0. The influence of a given pH on transport of AIB decreased rapidly when the cells were transferred to medium of another pH, but this tendency diminished the longer the cells were exposed to the initial pH. pH influenced the entry of alanine and proline in the same fashion as that of AIB, but did not affect leucine entry. These results indicate that thymic lymphocytes exhibit adaptive enhancement in the accumulation of free amino acids that are transported largely by the A or alanine‐preferring system, and that the adaptive process involves both entry and exodus. Moreover, alterations in pH modify entry and exodus of these same amino acids, profoundly affect the magnitude of time‐released increases, and may induce fundamental changes in the mechanism(s) serving amino acid transport.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)417-427
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Nov 1976


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