Angiotensin II stimulation of vascular smooth muscle cells results in initial, rapid diacylglycerol (DG) formation from the polyphosphoinositides accompanied by intracellular acidification, as well as a more sustained DG accumulation which is accompanied by a prolonged intracellular alkalinization. To determine whether intracellular pH (pHi) modulates DG accumulation, NH4Cl and potassium acetate were used to alter pHi and DG formation was measured. NH4Cl (10 mM) increased pHi from 7.15 +/- 0.05 to 7.34 +/- 0.02 pH units and markedly enhanced the sustained (5 min), but not the initial (15 s), phase of DG formation in response to 100 nM angiotensin II (65 +/- 13% increase). Conversely, intracellular acidification with Na+-free buffer and potassium acetate (20 mM) decreased pHi to 6.93 +/- 0.08 and reduced subsequent angiotensin II-induced sustained DG formation by 82 +/- 9%. In intact cells, inhibition of angiotensin II-stimulated alkalinization by incubation in Na+-free buffer or by addition of the Na+/H+ exchange inhibitor dimethylamiloride (10 microM) decreased the ability of the cell to sustain DG formation, suggesting that active Na+/H+ exchange is necessary for continued DG formation. Thus, it seems that sustained, angiotensin II-induced diacylglycerol accumulation is regulated by intracellular alkalinization secondary to Na+/H+ exchange in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells.
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