1. A study has been made of the oxygen consumption of kidney homogenates in relation to the ADP concentration as regulated by the cell-membrane adenosine triphosphatase. Stimulation of this enzymic activity by Na(+) and K(+) caused parallel increases in oxygen consumption and ADP concentration. Similarly, inhibition with ouabain caused a parallel fall. The membrane adenosine triphosphatase concerned in active transport therefore appears to regulate respiration through its control of ADP concentration. 2. The respiration of homogenates and mitochondria was also stimulated by K(+) in a way independent of adenosine-triphosphatase activity. It was shown that K(+) facilitates oxidative phosphorylation and the respiratory response to ADP. A K(+) concentration of 25-50mm was needed for maximum oxidative phosphorylation in the presence of physiological concentration of Na(+). Na(+) counteracted K(+) in the effects on mitochondria. It is concluded that K(+) regulates cellular respiration at two structures, one directly in mitochondria, and the second indirectly through control of ADP production at the cell membrane.

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