The effects of temperature upon the adrenergic Na+/H+ exchange of rainbow trout erythrocytes have been studied in vitro. The initial rates of H+ ejection and of increase of intracellular Na+ [(Na+]i) in adrenergically stimulated cells were highly temperature-dependent, with apparent Arrhenius activation energies of 112.8 +/− 10.0 (mean +/− S.D., N = 4) and 84.1 +/− 3.0 kJ mol-1 (N = 3), respectively. The steady-state [Na+]i following stimulation decreased progressively with cooling, whilst the time required for [Na+]i to return to control values after removal of agonist was greatly increased. The change in intracellular pH resulting from adrenergic stimulation was reduced by cooling, such that at 4 degrees C adrenergic responses were barely measurable. The effect of temperature upon the steady-state [Na+]i and pHi was probably caused by a disparity in the temperature dependence of the transport mechanisms that contribute to the respective steady states.

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