1. Previous published measurements of leucocyte cation content are inconsistent, with sodium concentrations having particularly high coefficients of variation. We have measured the effects of recovery time after isolation, different types of handling, and centrifugation on leucocyte sodium and potassium content.
2. Sodium content fell markedly during the first 30 min after isolation and was stable from 1 to 3 h of incubation. There was a small but significant rise in potassium content over the same time period.
3. During incubation, occasional gentle resuspension of the cells gave optimal sodium contents, whereas mixing by inversion caused large falls in sodium and potassium content.
4. Centrifugation of stable cells at 200 g for 6 min caused marked increases in sodium content.