Cell contents of water, K, Na, and Cl have been determined in cat right ventricular papillary muscles immersed in solutions with and without NaCl when the external osmolality was varied with sucrose. The plot of cell water/kilogram dry weight (corrected for sucrose content) vs. (external osmolality)-1 suggests that not less than 82% of water present in cells at physiological external osmolality is free to move across the cell membrane in response to an imposed osmotic gradient. Cells fail to increase their water content in very hypotonic solutions. For osmolalities greater than 5 times isosmolal, at which the mannitol space and the Cl36 space are both equal to 100% of muscle water, rather large amounts of univalent cation appear to remain "bound" to the tissue.

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