Active Transport of Na+ and K+ by Red Blood Cells

  • Joseph F. Hoffman


This chapter on active transport is intended to be a rather practical treatment of the subject in terms of what active transport is, how it can be distinguished from other types of membrane transport, and a survey of some of its characteristics. The idea that active transport occurs stems from the fact that cells are able to accumulate and maintain large concentration gradients of permeant ions across their plasma membranes. Because of the ubiquitous occurrence of such processes in living cells and tissues, our purpose can best be served by limiting our discussion to the membrane transport of the cations, Na+ and K+, and using information derived mainly from studies on human red blood cells. Thus, it is hoped that our considerations of basic principles in one cell type will emphasize those features common to all cell types rather than those differences which distinguish one type of cell from another.


Active Transport Adenosine Triphosphatase Sodium Pump Ouabain Binding Unidirectional Flux 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph F. Hoffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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