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Various functions of erythrocytic cation transport were studied in normotensive and hypertensive pregnancy (women with pre-eclampsia and essential hypertension). The results showed that in pregnancy there is an increase in the number of erythrocytic glycoside binding sites accompanied by a proportional increase in the active inward transport of rubidium (used as a substitute for potassium). There was no evidence of an effect of pregnancy on intraerythrocytic sodium concentrations. These changes were apparently entirely attributable to pregnancy and not affected by pre-eclampsia or essential hypertension. It is suggested that these alteration indicate an adaptive increase in sodium pump numbers and activity secondary to a tendency for the intraerythrocyte sodium concentration to rise during pregnancy and compensating for that tendency.


Journal article


British Medical Journal

Publication Date





1332 - 1334