It has been shown, within the probable limit of error of the methods of measurement employed, that the Donnan equilibrium determines the distribution of H and Cl ions between the cell and the surrounding fluid. This equilibrium is a consequence of the impermeability of the cell membrane to the inorganic cations of the cell. The mechanism responsible for this equilibrium is suggested as that concerned in the secretion of HCl by the cells of the gastric mucosa. If the salt concentration of the medium is low there may result from the Donnan equilibrium a thermodynamic P.D. of considerable magnitude. In the presence of low concentrations of electrolytes, this P.D. is to be regarded as positive in sign at reactions of the medium at which the cataphoretic charge of the cell is negative in sign. The explanation of this discrepancy in sign of charge may lie in the existence at an outer phase-boundary of a second Donnan equilibrium the nature of which is determined by the ionization of the protein of the cell membrane.
Article| September 20 1924
MEMBRANE EQUILIBRIA AND THE ELECTRIC CHARGE OF RED BLOOD CELLS
Calvin B. Coulter
From the Pathological Laboratory, Brooklyn Hospital, and the Department of Bacteriology, Columbia University.
Accepted: May 06 1924
Online Issn: 1540-7748
Print Issn: 0022-1295
Copyright, 1924, by The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research
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Calvin B. Coulter; MEMBRANE EQUILIBRIA AND THE ELECTRIC CHARGE OF RED BLOOD CELLS . J Gen Physiol 20 September 1924; 7 (1): 1–18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.7.1.1
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