Human red blood cells display under appropriate circumstances a ouabain-sensitive K-K exchange when the flux measurements are made using radioisotopes. Such an exchange complicates measurements of the coupling of Na outflux to K influx in cells which are partially depleted of energy sources by deprivation of glucose since the K-K exchange has been found to be increased in depleted cells. When the measurements of flux are made by estimating net cation movements chemically, it is found that glucose deprivation results in a fall in both ouabain-sensitive Na outflux and ouabain-sensitive K influx. Since both fluxes fell in concert, there is no reason for believing that the fluxes are not coupled or that the source of ATP for the Na outflux is different from that for the K influx.
John R. Sachs