Swelling-induced human erythrocyte K-Cl cotransport is membrane potential independent and capable of uphill transport. However, a complete thermodynamic analysis of basal and stimulated K-Cl cotransport, at constant cell volume, is missing. This study was performed in low K sheep red blood cells before and after reducing cellular free Mg into the nanomolar range with the divalent cation ionophore A23187 and a chelator, an intervention known to stimulate K-Cl cotransport. The anion exchange inhibitor 4,4'diisothiocyanato-2,2'disulfonic stilbene was used to clamp intracellular pH and Cl or NO3 concentrations. Cell volume was maintained constant as external and internal pH differed by more than two units. K-Cl cotransport was calculated from the K effluxes and Rb (as K congener) influxes measured in Cl and NO3, at constant internal K and external anions, and variable concentrations of extracellular Rb and internal anions, respectively. The external Rb concentration at which net K-Cl cotransport is zero was defined as flux reversal point which changed with internal pH and hence Cl. Plots of the ratio of external Rb concentrations corresponding to the flux reversal points and the internal K concentration versus the ratio of the internal and external Cl concentrations (i.e., the Donnan ratio of the transported ions) yielded slopes near unity for both control and low internal Mg cells. Thus, basal as well as low internal Mg-stimulated net K-Cl cotransport depends on the electrochemical potential gradient of KCl.

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