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Peculiarities of the electrical activity of the giant nerve cells of the leech Hirudo medicinalis in various saline solutions



Peculiarities of the electrical activity of the giant nerve cells of the leech Hirudo medicinalis in various saline solutions



Zh Evol Biokhim Fiziol 3(3): 234-240



In normal saline solution, action potentials (AP) of these cells do not exceed zero level of the membrane potential (MP). Removal of Na from the solution makes the cells inexcitable. Addition of Ba to the normal solution significantly increases the AP, the overshoot being observed; AP's are transformed into the prolonged action potentials (PAP). The membrane resistance during Ba PAP undergoes insignificant changes. In Ca-free solutions, both the MP and AP increase, after hyperpolarization and membrane resistance decrease, and spontaneous PAP's are observed. At the onset of the development of PAP due to removal of Ca, the membrane resistance decreases 2-3 times. Immersion of the cells into flowing Ca-free solution for more than 3 hr. causes irreversible changes in their excitability. The protoplasmic connection between 2 giant neurones accounting for bilateral electronic transmission, may be regarded as an ohmic resistance which is insignificantly affected by the ionic composition of the solution. Possible mechanisms of the effect of Ca-free solutions on the studied cells are discussed.

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