Potassium accumulation in the perinodal space of frog myelinated axons

Dubois, J.M.; Bergman, C.

Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 358(2): 111-124


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-6768
PMID: 1081677
DOI: 10.1007/bf00583922
Accession: 041023697

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1. Voltage clamp experiments were carried out on frog myelinated fibres to study the origin of the transient inward current occuring when the membrane is repolarized after long lasting depolarizing pulses (tail current denominated "Ip" by Frankenhaeuser). 2. The "tail" of inward current measured during repolarization after break of the depolarizing pulse is insensitive to external application of TTX, is abolished by external treatment with TEA or Cs and decreases when the outward K-current during the pulse is diminished. 3. The time course of the "tail" current is exponential. Its direction depends on the duration of the depolarizing pulse and on the membrane potential level at repolarization. 4. It is concluded that the tail of inward current during repolarization is carried by K-ions accumulated in the perinodal space during a depolarizing pulse. The data suggest that the tail reflects the time course of the restoration of the K-concentration to its initial level. The tail current itself contributes to this restoration depending on the Em value at repolarization. 5. It is shown that one of the two phenomenological models proposed by Frankenhaeuser and Hodgkin to account for the external potassium accumulation observed in the squid giant axon may be also applied to the Ranvier node. Assuming that the thickness of the space is 2900 A and that the K-permeability of the barrier is 0.019 cm/sec, it is possible to account for the observed changes in [K]0 during a long lasting depolarizing pulse. 6. The existence of such a barrier would introduce an electrical resistance in series with the nodal membrane of roughly 150 000 omega.

Potassium accumulation in the perinodal space of frog myelinated axons