Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 405, Supplement 1, pp S12–S16 | Cite as

The role of anions in cellular volume regulation

  • Anthony D. C. Macknight
Cellular Volume- and Osmoregulation


Cellular volume can be varied substantially by replacing medium Cl isosmotically by other univalent anions. Since K+ content changes in parallel, cellular K+ concentration is well maintained. Gluconate behaves as an impermeant anion so cells shrink. Acetate enters cells apparently by non-ionic diffusion causing marked cellular swelling. These changes in volume are fully reversed when Cl is again restored to the medium. However, ouabain (10−3 M) largely prevents this reversal when Cl replaces acetate, arguing against a ouabain-insensitive volume regulating mechanism. In toad urinary bladder, serosal gluconate inhibits transepithelial Na+ transport and cells shrink. Analysis suggests that cell shrinkage results in a loss of Ba2+-sensitive highly selective basolateral membrane K+ conductance channels.

Key words

Cell volume Medium anions Transepithelial transport 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony D. C. Macknight
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Otago Medical SchoolDunedinNew Zealand

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