Dog red blood cells (RBC) are shown to regulate their volume in anisosmotic media. Extrusion of water from osmotically swollen cells requires external calcium and is associated with net outward sodium movement. Accumulation of water by osmotically shrunken cells is not calcium dependent and is associated with net sodium uptake. Net movements of calcium are influenced by several variables including cell volume, pH, medium sodium concentration, and cellular sodium concentration. Osmotic swelling of cells increases calcium permeability, and this effect is diminished at acid pH. Net calcium flux in either direction between cells and medium is facilitated when the sodium concentrations is low in the compartment from which calcium moves and/or high in the compartment to which calcium moves. The hypothesis is advanced that energy for active sodium extrusion in dog RBC comes from passive, inward flow of calcium through a countertransport mechanism.

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