Seawater Teleosts: Evidence for a Sodium-Potassium Exchange in the Branchial Sodium-Excreting Pump

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Science  31 Oct 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3905, pp. 613-615
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3905.613


The net sodium extrusion rate by the gill of the seawater-adapted euryhaline flounder is identical to the potassium influx. The excretion of sodium is blocked in K+-free seawater solutions. The instantaneous sodium outflux readjustment pattern of flounders transferred from seawater to solutions of various sodium chloride or potassium chloride concentrations is consistent with the hypothesis of a linkage between Na+ outflux and K+ influx through a common exchange carrier. External Na+ and K+ compete for this comnmonz carrier. It is suggested that the exchange diffusion mechanism (linkage of sodium influx and outflux) and the high internal sodium turnover rate which characterizes all seawater teleosts are the results of this competitive process. The sodium-potassium dependent adenosine triphosphatase system occurring in the gill of the seawater teleosts may play a central role in this sodium-potassium exchange pump.

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