Obligate Cation Exchanges in Red Cells


COUPLING between the movements of sodium out of, and potassium into, human erythrocytes was discussed some time ago1. Although the concept of coupling between the active movements of sodium and potassium ions has been widely accepted2,3 it has been less usual to regard the down gradient “leak” movements as coupled. The stoichiometry of the active process met the difficulty that more sodium ions are extruded than potassium ions gained. To maintain electro-neutrality some other ion must move in association with potassium and sodium ions; this process has been somewhat neglected.

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HARRIS, E., PRESSMAN, B. Obligate Cation Exchanges in Red Cells. Nature 216, 918–920 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/216918a0

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