A phthalate density-separation technique has been used to study the heterogeneity of dog red blood cells that becomes manifest when they are suspended in KCl media. It is demonstrated that the proportions of cells that separate into light and dense fractions can be varied by altering the tonicity of the KCl medium. This results from the fact that the Na and K permeabilities of each cell are continuous functions of cell volume. It was found that quinidine inhibits selectively the volume dependence of Na permeability. In the presence of this drug, the heterogeneity demonstrated by KCl incubation disappears. The notion that dog red blood cells are heterogeneous in their permeabilities to Na and K is thus upheld, but the heterogeneity is not an abruptly discontinuous one, as has been claimed. A sample of dog blood does not contain two discrete populations of red cells.

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