Slices of kidney cortex of two species of hibernating mammals (hamsters and ground squirrels) have been leached of K, and their subsequent ability to reaccumulate K in vitro has been determined at temperatures between 38° and 0°C. At 5°C (body temperature of a hibernating mammal) uptake is appreciable in kidney cortex of both species. In the kidney cortex of hamsters, for example, the tissue K of slices incubated at 5°C reaches the same steady-state concentration after 2 hours that is observed in slices at 38°C after 20 minutes. At 0°C there is also a measurable uptake. This K transport is blocked by metabolic inhibitors and, in ground squirrel kidneys, by ouabain. In kidney cortex slices from guinea pigs net K accumulation is slight at 5°C and absent at 0°C. The initial rapid uptake of K at 38°C occurs at the same rate in kidney cortex slices of hamsters as in those of rabbits. Lowering the temperature of incubation decreases this initial rate of uptake in hamster kidney slices with a Q10 of 1.8 between 38° and 15° and of 5.7 between 15° and 0°C. In hamsters this uptake of K has been shown to require the outward extrusion of Na. Conversely, about half of the outward extrusion of Na requires K in the medium, while the remainder appears to be independent of K. The conclusions warranted are that kidney cells of hibernators possess an unusual ability to transport ions at low temperature, that this ability does not depend upon a more rapid rate at higher temperatures, and that the characteristics of transport at low temperature are qualitatively similar to those at 38°C in cells of nonhibernators.

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