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Published: 2020-08-27
Last edited: 2020-08-27

The Boron & De Weer Model of Intracellular pH Regulation

Occhipinti, R. ORCID logo , Safaei, S. ORCID logo , Hunter, P. J. ORCID logo , Boron, W. F. ORCID logo

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To cite this Physiome article, cite the whole collection at the DOI: 10.36903/physiome.12871022, and the Primary Publication at the DOI:

All Physiome articles are published as a collection containing the manuscript as a pdf file and the model implementation as an omex file (which can be opened with any standard type of zip reader).

Primary Publication: Intracellular pH transients in squid giant axons caused by CO2, NH3, and metabolic inhibitors. 1976, Boron, W. F. and De Weer, P.

Abstract: The classic Boron & De Weer (1976) paper provided the first evidence of active regulation of pH} in cells by an energy-dependent acid-base transporter. These authors also developed a quantitative model --- comprising passive fluxes of acid-base equivalents across the cell membrane, intracellular reactions, and an active transport mechanism in the cell membrane (modelled as a proton pump) --- to help interpret their measurements of intracellular pH under perturbations of both extracellular CO2/HCO3- and extracellular NH3/NH4+. This Physiome paper seeks to make that model, and the experimental conditions under which it was developed, available in a reproducible and well-documented form, along with a software implementation that makes the model easy to use and understand. We have also taken the opportunity to update some of the units used in the original paper, and to provide a few parameter values that were missing in the original paper. Finally, we provide an historical background to the Boron & De Weer (1976) proposal for active pH regulation and a commentary on subsequent work that has enriched our understanding of this most basic aspect of cellular physiology.

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