Albino rats weighing 160 to 175 gm. were fed a complete synthetic diet containing 0.003 per cent potassium and 0.7 per cent sodium for 40 days. Controls were given the same diet plus adequate added potassium.

1. Data from analyses of serum and skeletal muscle showed (a) a fall in serum chloride concentration and an increase in serum carbon dioxide concentration and pH in the potassium-deficient rats; (b) increases of sodium, magnesium, and calcium and a decrease of potassium in the muscle of the potassium-deficient rats; (c) no change of muscle chloride or carbon dioxide concentrations in the potassium-deficient rats.

(2) Application of the Wallace-Hastings calculations to these data revealed (a) intracellular pH of the skeletal muscle of the normal rat to be 6.98 ± 0.08; (b) an increase in serum partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in potassium deficiency, together with increases in concentrations of [H2CO2] and [HCO3-] per kg. extracellular water and [H2CO3] per kg. cell water; (c) a decrease in values for [CO2] and [HCO3-] per kg. intracellular water; (d) a fall of intracellular pH in potassium deficiency to 6.42 ± 0.05.

(3) Analyses of sacrospinalis muscle from five men undergoing operation for ruptured intervertebral disc showed a mean value of 9.46 ± 1.31 mM carbon dioxide per kg. blood-free tissue.

Some problems of interpretation of data are briefly discussed.

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