Na efflux of rabbit RBC is approximately 10 mmoles/kg wet weight. hr. One-half of this consists of a ouabain-insensitive exchange diffusion component. Ouabain inhibits 2.5 mmoles/kg.hr of Na efflux. K influx is 3.0 mmoles/kg.hr; 2.2 mmoles/kg.hr are inhibited by ouabain. In contrast with human RBC, ouabain inhibition of Na efflux and K influx of rabbit RBC is easily reversible. After 2 hr, ouabain inhibition of Na efflux is completely compensated for by increased internal Na concentration and Na efflux returns to initial levels. Removal of ouabain at this stage results in stimulation of the efflux by 4.3 mmoles/kg.hr. Na influx is initially not affected by ouabain but is increased by 2.4 mmoles/kg.hr after 2 hr incubation with the drug. Removal of K from normal Ringer does not affect Na efflux and increases Na influx by 1.6 mmoles/kg.hr. Addition of ouabain to K-free Ringer inhibits Na efflux and influx to the same extent (1.6 mmoles/kg.hr). Removal of Na from K-free Ringer has an inhibitory effect on efflux similar to that of ouabain. These findings suggest that the fraction of Na efflux inhibited by removal of external K is completely replaced by a new, ouabain-sensitive exchange diffusion of Na ions.

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