1. The effects of sucrose and KCl on the loss of latency of lysosomal enzymes caused by incubation at 37 degrees C, pH 7.4, were examined by using Triton-filled lysosomes from rat liver and two fractions from livers of rats not injected with Triton. 2. After incubation, the percentage free activity of lysosomal enzymes was measured before and after cooling to 0 degrees C in order to determine the amount of latency lost at 37 degrees C without cooling and the additional amount lost on cooling the incubated lysosomes to 0 degrees C. 3. The latency that is lost without cooling is first decreased and then increased by increasing the osmotic strength of the incubation medium with KCl, or with sucrose in the presence of KCl. However, if the osmotic strength is increased with sucrose alone, loss of latency is decreased up to 0.25M-sucrose, but is increased only slightly at higher sucrose concentrations. Apparently the lysosome is permeated by hyperosmolar KCl but not by sucrose during incubation. 4. If the osmotic strength of the assay medium is increased with KCl, the loss of latency caused by incubation for 60 min in hyperosmolar KCl is repressed. Thus it appears that a KCl-permeated lysosome can be obtained which is relatively stable until exposure to lower osmolarities. 5. The loss of latency caused by cooling incubated lysosomes to 0 degrees C is largely eliminated if the osmotic strength of the medium in which the lysosomes are cooled is raised sufficiently with either sucrose or KCl. 6. Osmotic-fragility curves were obtained after incubation for 1 and 60 min at iso-osmoticity (0.2M-KCl or 0.25 M-sucrose). Although little loss of latency occurs at iso-osmoticity, lysosomes incubated for 60 min display greatly increased fragility on exposure to hypo-osmolar KCl, hypo-osmolar sucrose or hyperosmolar KCl. 7. It is suggested that permeability to KCl at 37 degrees C and the increase in fragility on exposure to hypo-osmolar conditions are both consequences of injury, probably from enzymic action, sustained by the lysosomal membrane during incubation at 37 degrees C.

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