Proper ion balance between intra- and extracellular compartments is necessary for normal physiological function. Conversely, alterations in membrane ion transport occur in numerous pathological states. As a noninvasive, nondestructive spectroscopic technique, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) offers a powerful approach to the study of ion balance in intact biological systems. Unfortunately, rare NMR active nuclides that are isotopes of the 100% naturally abundant 23Na+ and 39K+ are not available for tracer kinetic studies of Na+ and K+ transport. However, Cs+ is a biologically active analog of K+, and the 100% naturally abundant NMR active 133Cs+ nuclide can be employed to examine K+ transport (Davis, D. G., E. Murphy, and R. E. London. Biochemistry 27:3547-3551, 1988). The distinguishing feature of 133Cs+ is that it naturally gives two separate well-resolved NMR resonances for intra- and extracellular 133Cs+, permitting study of the time course changes of either of these compartments independent of the other. In this report, the experimental procedures and compartmental modeling formalism are developed that allow quantitative analysis of Cs+ membrane transport in the perfused rat heart. Intracellular 133Cs+ is shown to be 100% visible by solution-state NMR methods and its influx transport to be markedly inhibited by ouabain, a confirmation of findings previously reported by others. Intracellular 133Cs+ spin- lattice and spin-spin relaxation times at 7 T were determined to be 2.1 ± 0.3 (SD) s (n = 8) and 0.065 ± 0.007 (SD) s (n = 8), respectively, for T1 and T2. The rate constant for Na+-K+-ATPase pump dominated intracellular influx was measured to be 0.25 ± 0.07 (SD) min-1 (n = 27) and that for efflux 0.005 ± 0.001 (SD) min-1 (n = 14). The rate constant for 133Cs+ equilibration in the extracellular space at supraphysiological perfusate flow rate (20 ml/min) was found to be 4.6 ± 0.9 (SD) min-1 (n = 20). Thus extracellular diffusion limitations do not dominate the 133Cs+ transport measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1618-C1634
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 41-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • cesium
  • compartmental modeling
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy
  • longitudinal relaxation
  • membrane transport
  • nuclear magnetic resonance
  • ouabain
  • sodium pump
  • transport kinetics
  • transverse relaxation


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantification of ion transport in perfused rat heart: 133Cs+ as an NMR active K+ analog'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this