Single isolated muscle fibers from the walking legs of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus act as Boyle-van't Hoff osmometers with an osmotically inactive volume of 33 %. Fibers in hypotonic salines undergo a spontaneous volume readjustment toward the initial volumes of the cells found in isotonic salines. The volume readjustment is initiated by the increase in cell volume in hypotonic salines and appears to be dependent on the duration of exposure of the fiber to external sodium, the sodium concentration, and the pH of the external medium. The volume-readjusted cells continue to behave as osmometers, but with an increased relative osmotically inactive volume and a decreased internal resistivity. The decreases in cell volumes appear to be, in large part, due to losses of osmotically active nonelectrolytes from the cells.

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