Changes in organic solutes, volume, energy state, and metabolism associated with osmotic stress in a glial cell line: a multinuclear NMR study


  • U. Floegel
  • T. Niendorf
  • N. Serkowa
  • A. Brand
  • J. Henke
  • D. Leibfritz


  • Neurochemical Research


  • Neurochem Res 20 (7): 793-802


  • Diffusion-weighted in vivo 1H-NMR spectroscopy of F98 glioma cells embedded in basement membrane gel threads showed that the initial cell swelling to about 180% of the original volume induced under hypotonic stress was followed by a regulatory volume decrease to nearly 100% of the control volume in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) but only to 130% in Krebs-Henseleit buffer (KHB, containing only glucose as a substrate) after 7 h. The initial cell shrinkage to approx. 70% induced by the hypertonic stress was compensated by a regulatory volume increase which after 7 h reached almost 100% of the control value in KHB and 75% in DMEM. 1H-, 13C- and 31P-NMR spectroscopy of perchloric acid extracts showed that these volume regulatory processes were accompanied by pronounced changes in the content of organic osmolytes. Adaptation of intra- to extracellular osmolarity was preferentially mediated by a decrease in the cytosolic taurine level under hypotonic stress and by an intracellular accumulation of amino acids under hypertonic stress. If these solutes were not available in sufficient quantities (as in KHB), the osmolarity of the cytosol was increasingly modified by biosynthesis of products and intermediates of essential metabolic pathways, such as alanine, glutamate and glycerophosphocholine in addition to ethanolamine. The cellular nucleoside triphosphate level measured by in vivo 31P-NMR spectroscopy indicated that the energy state of the cells was more easily sustained under hypotonic than hypertonic conditions.