A flow system has been used to determine the permeability of human red cell membranes to four small nonelectrolytes labeled with 14C. The permeability coefficients, ω, in units of mol dyne-1 sec-1 x 1015, are: ethylene glycol, 6; urea, 13; formamide, 22; and methanol, 131. The values for urea and formamide are in good agreement with values obtained by Sha'afi, Gary-Bobo, and Solomon by the minimum method. The unusually high value for ω for methanol is ascribed to its solubility in the red cell membrane since its ether: water partition coefficient is 0.14, higher by more than an order of magnitude than the ether: water partition coefficient for water. The other three solutes are hydrophilic and are characterized by values of ω which behave consistently with those of other hydrophilic amides and ureas. The values of ω for the three hydrophilic solutes measured are also consistent with an equivalent pore radius of about 3.5 A in agreement with previous estimates made on the basis of other types of studies.

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