The clinical investigator

, Volume 70, Issue 9, pp 816–824 | Cite as

Oscillations: a key event in transformed renal epithelial cells

  • H. Oberleithner
  • A. Schwab
  • H. -J. Westphale
  • L. Wojnowski
Guest Lecture, “Gessellschaft für Nephrologie”, 23rd Congress


Intracellular pH (pHi) plays a critical role in the entry of cells into the DNA-synthesis phase of the cell cycle. Alterations in pHi may contribute to abnormal proliferative responses such as those seen in tumorigenic cells. We observed that alkaline stress leads to genomic transformation of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Transformed cells (F cells) form “foci” in culture, lack contact inhibition, and are able to migrate, typical characteristics of dedifferentiated tumorigenic cells. F cells exhibit spontaneous biorhythmicity. Rhythmic transmembrane Ca2+ flux activates plasma membrane K+ channels and Na+/H+ exchange. This leads to periodic changes of membrane voltage and pHi at about one cycle per minute. We conclude that endogenous oscillatory activity could be a trigger mechanism for DNA synthesis, proliferation, and abnormal growth of renal epithelial cells in culture.

Key words

MDCK cell Intracellular pH Intracellular Ca2+ K+ channel Oscillation Cell transformation 



calcium-induced calcium release


inositol triphosphate


Madin-Darby canine kidney


intracellular pH


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Oberleithner
    • 1
  • A. Schwab
    • 1
  • H. -J. Westphale
    • 1
  • L. Wojnowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches Institut der Universität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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