Investigation of the relationship between altered intracellular pH and multidrug resistance in mammalian cells
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The intracellular pH of a number of multidrug resistant cell lines was compared with that of their parental lines using the fluorescent probe bis-carboxyethylcarboxyfluorescein. In four different cases, cells having 5-fold resistance or more exhibited an intracellular pH which was 0.10-0.17 units higher than that of the parental cell line. A CHO cell line, AB1, and its 180-fold resistant counterpart, CHRC5, were further investigated with regard to the role of Na+/H+ antiport. The Na+/H+ antiport activity was greater at any intracellular pH for the CHRC5 cells than the AB1 cells. To investigate the possible role of higher intracellular pH in multidrug resistance, the effect of several agents which are either known to reverse multidrug resistance or inhibit Na+/H+ antiport activity were examined. Verapamil was found to reverse multidrug resistance but had no effect on intracellular pH while amiloride, which acidifies the cytoxol by blocking Na+/H+ antiport activity, did not cause reversal of drug resistance. In contrast to verapamil, treatment of CHRC5 cells with cyclosporin A had a parallel effect on reversal of their drug resistant phenotype and a lowering of their intracellular pH to that of the sensitive cell level. However, cyclosporin was ineffective in either lowering the intracellular pH or reversing drug resistance in DC3F/ADX cells. Therefore, except for the effect of cyclosporin A on the CHRC5 line, the effects of other agents on reversal of multidrug resistance and intracellular pH did not correlate with each other.
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