1. Permeability to water in unfertilized eggs of the sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, was studied by measuring the rate of swelling in hypotonic dextrose solution.
2. Permeability is greatly affected by addition of electrolytes in low concentration.
3. A decrease in permeability to water was found with increasing valence of the cation, using a series of cobaltammine chlorides in which the valence of the cation ranged from 1 to 6.
4. Conversely, an increase in permeability to water was found with increasing valence of the anion, using two series of potassium salts in which the valence of the anion ranged from 1 to 4, and 1 to 3, respectively.
5. It is concluded that the effect of electrolytes on permeability to water depends chiefly on the sign and the number of charges on the ion, in the sense that positive ions decrease permeability to water, while negative ions increase permeability to water; and the effectiveness of the ion is greater the higher its valence.
6. Antagonism has been demonstrated between cations and anions in their effect on permeability, and the method employed permits quantitative study of such antagonism.