Shrinkage of dog red blood cells (RBC) activates a Na transport pathway that is Cl dependent, amiloride sensitive, and capable of conducting Na-proton counterflow. It is possible to establish transmembrane gradients for either Na or protons and to demonstrate that each cation species can drive reciprocal movements of the other. The nature of the coupling between Na and proton movements was investigated using the fluorescent probe diS-C3(5) and also by an indirect method in which K movements through valinomycin channels were used to draw inferences about the membrane potential. No evidence was found to suggest that the Na-proton pathway activated by shrinkage of dog RBC is a conductive one. By exclusion, it is presumed that the coupling between the counterflow of Na and protons is electroneutral. The volume-activated Na-proton fluxes in dog RBC have certain properties that distinguish them from similar transport pathways in other cell types.

This content is only available as a PDF.