1. Hypokalaemia may be produced in man by intravenous adrenaline infusion, or as a result of pathological disturbances which have led to a high plasma adrenaline concentration.
2. With isolated human leucocytes used as a cellular model, adrenaline at concentrations at and above 9 nmol/l increases the influx of rubidium (a model for potassium flux) into cells, with a simultaneous efflux of sodium. There is no effect on Na+, K+-ATPase activity in lysed leucocytes.
3. Use of the adrenoceptor blockers timolol and atenolol shows that the demonstrated effect of adrenaline on coupled active transport of ions is mediated by β2-adrenoceptors.