Cation transport and energy metabolism in the high Na+, low K+ erythrocyte of the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina † Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Eugene D. Robin, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California 94305.

Eugene D. Robin, H. Victor Murdaugh, Carroll E Cross, Jan Smith, James Theodore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


1. 1. Cation transport in relation to cell metabolism in the high Na+, low K+ seal erythrocyte was investigated. Under steady-state conditions at 40°C, Na+ efflux was32 ± 4·0 (S.D.) m-equiv. × kg RBC H2O-1 × hr-1and K+ influx was 1·1 ± 0·38m-equiv. × kg RBC H2O-1 × hr-1. 2. 2. Both fluxes were insensitive to ouabain (10-4 M) and an inhibitor of anaerobic metabolism, monoiodoacetate (10-4 M). 3. 3. Ethanol (5 × 10-1 M) decreased Na+ efflux in the seal erythrocyte and the high Na+, low K+ cat erythrocyte but did not affect Na+ transport in the low Na+, high K+ human erythrocyte. 4. 4. Valinomycin (10-5 M) produced increased permeability to K+ without effect on Na+ transport. 5. 5. Lactate production (2·4 ± 0·29 mM×1.RBC H2O-1 × hr-1) was not decreased significantly by ouabain. 6. 6. Adenosinetriphosphate (ATP) concentrations (0·4 ± 0·03 (S.D.)mM/5·0 mM Hb) and 2,3 diphosphoglycerate (2,3 DPG) concentrations (6·5 ± 0·53 (S.D.) mM/5·0 mM Hb) provide evidence that this cell possesses an active glycolytic mechanism for high energy phosphate production. 7. 7. Quantitatively, the level of energy transduction is similar in both high Na+, low K+ seal erythrocytes and low Na+, high K+ human erythrocytes despite the small calculated minimal work cost of cation transport in the former.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-821
Number of pages15
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1971
Externally publishedYes



  • 2,3 diphosphoglycerate
  • Cation transport
  • electrochemical gradient
  • energetics
  • energy cost
  • glucose to lactate metabolism
  • high Na erythrocytes
  • K permeability
  • monoiodoacetate
  • ouabain
  • Phoca vitulina
  • valinomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

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