The efflux of glycerol-3H from mature R. pipiens oocytes was studied by extractive analysis and by quantitative radioautography using techniques suitable for diffusible solutes. Extractive analysis was used to determine the total cellular concentration of tracer, and radioautography, regional intracellular concentrations, at equilibrium and as a function of efflux time, tE. The efflux was resolvable into four kinetic fractions: cytoplasmic fast and slow fractions, and nuclear fast and slow fractions. The fast fractions represent freely diffusible glycerol in the two compartments; the solvent space accessible to glycerol is unity in the nucleus (germinal vesicle), but only 0.73 in the cytoplasm. The efflux of both fast fractions from the cell is determined by the permeability of the cortical membrane, with neither the nuclear membrane nor diffusion in the cytoplasm detectably slowing the flux. The permeability at 13.6°C is 2.2 x 10-5 cm/sec. The slow fractions leave the cell at about one-tenth the rate of the fast; the interpretation is that these fractions represent glycerol bound to impermeant cellular constituents. The size of these constituents is below the radioautographic resolution; in the cytoplasm, they appear not to be the yolk platelets. The extent of binding is about fourfold greater, per milliliter of compartment water, in the cytoplasm than in the germinal vesicle.

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