We investigated the possible role of ion channels and transporters in cell volume control using Aplysia brasiliana ventricular tissues exposed to a 26% hyposmotic shock, by assessing changes in wet weight, intracellular water and ionic contents. Thirty minutes after the shock, the wet weight of isolated ventricles increase about 20% above control levels and then attain near original weight within 60 min after the shock. At the time when the wet weight returned to control values, intracellular water and KCl contents are decreased by 22 and 20%, respectively. The K(+) channel blockers, 4-AP and TEA, but not the cotransport blockers, hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide, greatly affect the magnitude of wet weight gain and the time course of weight recovery, indicating that KCl loss occur through conductive pathways. Intracellular recordings performed on ventricular myocytes during exposure to the osmotic shock showed an immediate membrane hyperpolarization and blockade of spontaneous electrical activity; diastolic membrane potential recover over time and spontaneous action potentials are completely restored 60 min after the hyposmotic shock. Because significant weight loss is observed during the exposure of ventricular tissues to 26% hypo-ionic, but isosmotic saline, it is suggested that ventricular volume restoration is accomplished by two distinct but simultaneously occurring processes: a volume-dependent and a volume-independent mechanism. Because wet weight restoration is completely prevented by exposing ventricular tissue to a Ca(2+)-free hyposmotic solution, we postulate that both processes involved in A. brasiliana ventricular weight restoration are Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms.