Reversal of the potassium entry mechanism in red cells, with and without reversal of the entire pump cycle

The Journal of Physiology
Ian M GlynnU Lüthi


1. (42)K has been used to study the ouabain-sensitive component of potassium efflux from intact human red cells.2. Ouabain-sensitive efflux of potassium was observed only in media containing either sodium ions in moderate or high concentration or potassium ions.3. The effects of sodium and potassium in the medium were not additive. Potassium ions always increased the ouabain-sensitive potassium efflux, but in media containing 4.2 mM-K an increase in sodium concentration from 4.5 to 131 mM had little effect.4. In potassium-free media, ouabain-sensitive potassium efflux increased roughly linearly as the external sodium concentration was increased from 35 to 155 mM.5. The sensitivity of potassium efflux to external potassium depended on the concentration of sodium in the medium. In a 5 mM-Na (choline) medium, ouabain-sensitive potassium efflux was half-maximal at about 0.27 mM-K. In a 150 mM-Na medium the effect of potassium was half-maximal at about 1 mM-K. The relation between external potassium concentration and ouabain-sensitive sodium efflux was similarly influenced by the concentration of sodium ions in the medium.6. Inosine greatly reduced the ouabain-sensitive efflux of potassium into both 5 mM-K and potassium-free media. ...Continue Reading


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