AAT Bioquest

What happens if the sodium-potassium pump fails or is inhibited?

Posted September 15, 2023


The sodium-potassium pump can fail under anoxic conditions when ATP is lost. The activity of the pump can be inhibited. When these processes occur, Na+ accumulates within the cell and the intracellular K+ depletes. This subsequently causes depolarization of the resting membrane potential due to the reduction in the potassium concentration gradient across the cell membrane. When cardiac glycosides inhibit NA-K-ATPase, the intracellular Ca2+ ion levels become raised (through the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger), leading to hypertension, diabetes, and cataracts.  

Additional resources

Potassium Pump is pivotal to body's function

Membrane Potential and Channels

Screen Quest™ No Wash Potassium Channel Assay Kit