Effects of temperature and pH on the water exchange through erythrocyte membranes: nuclear magnetic resonance studies

J Membr Biol. 1981;62(1-2):1-5. doi: 10.1007/BF01870194.


The temperature and pH dependence of water exchange has been studied on isolated erythrocytes suspended in isotonic buffered solutions. At pH 7.4 a break in the Arrhenius plot of water exchange time at around 26 degrees C was found. The mean value of the apparent activation energy of the water exchange time at temperatures higher than that of the discontinuity was 5.7 kcal/mole (+/- 0.4); at lower temperatures the values of the apparent activation energy were below 1.4 kcal/mole. The pH dependence of water exchange time of isolated erythrocytes revealed a marked increase of the water exchange time values in the acid range of pH; a much smaller variation of the same parameter occurs between pH 7.0 and 8.0. These finding could be correlated with other processes involving erythrocyte membranes that showed similar pH and temperature dependence and were considered to indicate state transitions in the membranes. It is suggested that the temperature and pH effects on water diffusion indicate that conformational changes and cooperative effects are implicated in the mechanism of this transport process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Water / metabolism*
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics