dxcrunner

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Sep 6, 2013
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If the cell runs out of energy and can no longer maintain it's ion pumps, why does the cell swell? My book says sodium ions diffuse into the cell (as the sodium/potassium channel is not working to pump them out) and the osmolarity of the cell increases. Sure that makes sense, but wouldn't K+ diffuse out and therefore the osmolarity stays the same?
 

xtra333

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Apr 22, 2009
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I think it is the rate of K diffusion versus sodium that is entering the cell via leak channels. more sodium enters the cell at a given time than K exiting the cell.
 

dxcrunner

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At resting membrane potential, I thought K+ was more permeable and that is why the membrane potential is closer to the Nernst potential for potassium and not sodium. To me K+ should diffuse faster.
 
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