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Invertebrate Cell Volume Control Mechanisms: A Coordinated Use of Intracellular Amino Acids and Inorganic Ions as Osmotic Solute

Sidney K. Pierce
Biological Bulletin
Vol. 163, No. 3 (Dec., 1982), pp. 405-419
DOI: 10.2307/1541452
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1541452
Page Count: 15
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Invertebrate Cell Volume Control Mechanisms: A Coordinated Use of Intracellular Amino Acids and Inorganic Ions as Osmotic Solute
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Abstract

All cells have some capacity for cell volume regulation when confronted with a hypoosmotic stress. The basis of this physiological response is an extrusion of intracellular osmotic solute. The cells of euryhaline osmoconforming invertebrates are capable of regulating volume over a wide range of external osmotic concentrations. Most of the existing data indicate that these cells utilize free amino acids from a substantial intracellular pool as the solute source. However, recent studies indicate that these invertebrate cells utilize inorganic ions as osmotic solute as well. The relative contribution of each solute type varies from species to species and, perhaps, from cell type to cell type. The two solute types are regulated by different mechanisms and often with different time courses, but both solute control systems function in a coordinated manner to regulate cell volume. In addition, evidence is appearing demonstrating a role for organic solutes in the volume regulatory processes of vertebrate cells. At present, it seems that the volume regulatory mechanisms utilized by all cells may be more similar than currently thought, differing in relative contributions of the two solute types rather than kind of solute utilized.

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