The kinetics of osmotically induced changes in vesicular volume and internal solute concentration were analyzed for membrane vesicles containing fixed quantity of impermeable osmoticum in the lumen. The kinetic curves of the concentration and volume changes were shown to be dissimilar. The average durations of these two processes may differ by several tens of percents, depending on the extent and polarity of the initially imposed osmotic gradient. For vesicles containing identical solutes in the internal and external solutions, the problem is analyzed of how the concentration and volume changes are manifested in changes of the effective scattering cross-section of the vesicle. The light scattering changes, directed oppositely to volume changes, were found to coincide roughly with the kinetics of volume changes. The analysis shows that calculations of water permeability coefficient should be based on average duration of volume changes rather than the duration of concentration changes. The replacement in calculations of the first parameter with the second one may result in overestimation of water permeability by a factor of 1.5. This might be relevant to the reported discrepancies in water permeability values determined by the osmotic and isotope methods. Although the allowance for 1.5-fold overestimation cannot fully account for the differences observed, it significantly lowers the discrepancy between these estimates in some cases. The opposite signs of light scattering and volume changes originate from the presence of two components in the optical path of the vesicle, i.e., the membrane and the lumenal solution.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2008
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