The relative Na24 specific activity of red cells and plasma was measured at periods up to 30 hours following a single intravenous injection of Na24 in normal healthy young adults. The average specific activity of the red cells relative to that of the plasma at 24 hours and beyond was found to average 0.83 ± 0.05 in a series of five normal individuals, significantly different from 1.0. This indicates that all the intracellular Na is not exchangeable in 24 hours, and confirms earlier in vitro results. The red cell Na concentration in man was shown to be 12.1 ± 1.1 m.eq. Na/liter red cell, as measured in a series of nineteen normal healthy young adults. A theoretical analysis of the data on exchangeable cell Na suggests that the red cell Na (5.3 m.eq. Na/liter blood) is divided into a fast compartment comprising 4.25 m.eq. Na/liter blood, and a slow compartment comprising 1.07 m.eq. Na/liter blood. If these compartments are arranged in parallel, the flux between plasma and fast compartment is 1.32 m.eq. Na/liter blood hour, and that between plasma and slow compartment is 0.016 m.eq. Na/liter blood hour. Results of experiments on two patients with congenital hemolytic jaundice suggest that the fraction of slowly exchanging Na may increase with the age of the red cell.

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