Influxes of potassium and amino acids were measured in suspensions of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) under resting conditions and after various phagocytic stimuli. Both ouabain-sensitive (or pump) and ouabain-insensitive (or leak) influxes of K were determined. In 5 mM external K, mean total K influx was 0.69 nmol/106 cells x min, of which 52% was ouabain-sensitive. Ouabain binding was irreversible, and, as in erythrocytes, was inhibited by K. At external concentrations of 0.1 mM, influxes of lysine and leucine were entirely carrier-mediated, with means of 0.021 nmol/106 cells x min, and 0.019 nmol/106 cells x min, respectively. After incubation of PMNs with zymosan or latex particles, the K pump was reduced more than 60%, whereas amino acid influxes were inhibited only by 30%. PMNs were also exposed to cytochalasin B before challenge by particles: the drug prevented phagocytosis but not surface binding of zymosan, nor did it influence transport of K or amino acids. After pretreatment of PMNs with cytochalasin B, interaction of zymosan with their surface resulted in the same degree of inhibition of influxes of K and amino acids as when the cells were permitted to phagocytose the particles. In contrast, exposure of PMN to latex particles, which do not bind to cytochalasin B-treated cells, after pretreatment of cells with cytochalasin B did not result in inhibition of influxes. Treatment of cells with colchicine had no effect on either membrane transport or its inhibition after exposure to various phagocytic stimuli. These results indicate that the surface membranes of PMNs are functionally heterogeneous with respect to the association of transport sites for the different solutes. Moreover, loss of specific membrane functions from phagocytosing cells may result from the surface-at-tachment phase of particle-cell interactions, since the interactions of zymosan particles with PMNs in the absence of phagocytosis also inhibited transport of solutes.

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