Experiments were performed to test the applicability of permeability kinetics to whole frog sartorius muscle using K42 ions as tracers of potassium flux. The whole muscle was found to obey closely the kinetic laws expected to hold for single cellular units in which the potassium fluxes are membrane-limited and intracellular mixing is rapid enough not to introduce serious error. In a 5 mM K Ringer's solution, potassium efflux was very nearly equal to influx when the rate constant for K42 loss was applied to the whole of the muscle potassium. Over a fairly wide range of external potassium concentration, the assumed unidirectional fluxes measured with tracer K42 showed good agreement with net potassium changes determined analytically. The specific activity of potassium lost from labeled muscles to an initially K-free Ringer's solution was measured as a test of the adequacy of intracellular mixing. The results were those expected for a population of cells with uniformly distributed intracellular K42. A small deviation was encountered which can be attributed either to a dispersion of fiber sizes in the sartorius or to a possible small additional cellular compartment in each individual fiber. The additional cellular compartment, should it exist, contains from 0.5 to 1 per cent of the muscle potassium. This is evidently not large enough to interfere seriously with the applicability of permeability kinetics to the whole muscle.

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