Further support for the pump-leak concept was obtained. Net transport was resolved into pump and leak components with the cardiac glycoside, ouabain. The specificity of ouabain as a pump inhibitor was demonstrated by its ineffectiveness when the pump was already inhibited by lack of one of the three pump substrates, sodium ion, potassium ion, or adenosine triphosphate. In the presence of ouabain the rates of passive transport of sodium and potassium ions changed almost in proportion to changes in their extracellular concentrations when one ion was exchanged for the other. In the presence of ouabain and at the extracellular concentrations which produced zero net transport, the ratio of potassium ions to sodium ions was 1.2-fold higher inside the cells than outside. This finding was attributed to a residual pump activity of less than 2% of capacity. The permeability to potassium ions was 10% greater than the permeability to sodium ions. A test was made of the independence of pump and leak. Conditions were chosen to change the rate through each pathway separately or in combination. When both pathways were active, net transport was the sum of the rates observed when each acted separately. A ratio of three sodium ions pumped outward per two potassium ions pumped inward was confirmed.
Resolution of Pump and Leak Components of Sodium and Potassium Ion Transport in Human Erythrocytes
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R. L. Post, C. D. Albright, K. Dayani; Resolution of Pump and Leak Components of Sodium and Potassium Ion Transport in Human Erythrocytes . J Gen Physiol 1 May 1967; 50 (5): 1201–1220. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.50.5.1201
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