The rate of Ca influx into ghosts containing arsenazo III changes with time, being most rapid during the first 5 min after Ca is added to the outside and declining thereafter. The rate of Ca influx is a nonlinear function of extracellular Ca and plateaus as the latter is increased above 1 mM. The rate of Ca influx was measured as a function of the transmembrane gradients of Na and K and changes in the permeability of the membrane to K and Cl produced by valinomycin and SITS (4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyano-stilbene-2-2'-disulfonic acid), respectively. Changes in the rate of Ca influx are consistent with expected effects of these treatments on the membrane potential. Oligomycin (10 micrograms/ml) and quinidine (1 mM) inhibit the rate of Ca uptake by inhibiting Ca-induced changes in the K permeability. At constant membrane potential, furosemide produced a slight (15%) consistent increase in Ca uptake. Other experiments show that resealed ghosts are heterogeneous in their passive permeability to Ca and that A23187 can be used to effectively eliminate such differences. The results of this paper show that resealed human red cell ghosts containing arsenazo III can be used to continuously monitor intracellular free Ca and to study the factors that influence the permeability of the red cell membrane to Ca.

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