Observations on the Measurement and Regulation of the Sodium Content of Rabbit Erythrocytes: Evidence for a Single Sodium Pump Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We have studied the cation content of rabbit erythrocytes; for a group of 40 animals red cell sodium was 9.2 ± 2.7 (S.D.) mmol/1 of cells, while potassium was 112 ± 8.6 mmol/1. Cell sodium content rose as the animals aged, but there was always a wide concentration gradient across the cell wall. This gradient was maintained by an active sodium pump, inhibited by ouabain (10−4 M) and comparable to pump I in the human red cell. The rate constant for this process in 16 rabbits was 0.313 ± 0.07 (S.D.) h−1, a value similar to that seen in man. Ethacrynic acid (10−3 M) inhibited a further component of sodium efflux, the rate constant being 0.259 ± 0.015 (S.D.) h−1. This was superficially comparable to pump II as previously described in the human; on further study, however, it was found to be sodium dependent, but able to function in the absence of adenosine triphosphate and incapable of net up-hill transport. These findings indicate that there is only one active transport mechanism in the red cells of the rabbit, which is a useful model for study in comparison to the red cells of man.

publication date

  • August 1, 1972