Purified populations of rat peritoneal mast cells were used to study the effect of ouabain on compound 48/80-induced histamine secretion and on 86Rb+ uptake. 86Rb+ was used as a tracer for extracellular K+. The calculated value of the ouabain-sensitive uptake of K+ and 86Rb+ was considered a measure of the Na(+)-K+ pump activity of the cells. Ouabain caused an immediate inhibition of the pump activity and a time-dependent increase in histamine secretion in the absence of extracellular calcium. No effect on the secretion was observed in the presence of calcium. The effect of ouabain on the secretion occurs in the presence of sodium but not when sodium was replaced by lithium. Preservation by ouabain of a high intracellular sodium content in sodium-loaded cells was associated with preservation of the secretory response in a calcium-free medium. In the presence of lanthanum in a calcium-free medium, the pump activity was inhibited and the enhancement by ouabain of the secretion of histamine was blocked. A less marked inhibition of the pump was found in a calcium-free medium containing magnesium. The inhibition exerted by magnesium was concentration-dependent (0-5 mM) as was the counteraction of magnesium of the enhancement of ouabain of the secretion of histamine. These observations indicate that the enhancement by ouabain of the secretory response of mast cells preincubated in a calcium-free medium is associated with accumulation of sodium inside the cell. In addition to a decreased rate of sodium-calcium exchange caused by a decreased inward directed sodium gradient, the mechanism by which ouabain enhances the secretory response is likely to involve an increased binding of calcium to membrane binding sites.
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 1992, Vol 70, Issue 6 Pt 1, p. 412-8