The giant axon of this extreme euryhaline osmoconformer possess an unusual ability to produce action potentials of large amplitude over a wide range of ionic dilution when constant osmotic concentration is maintained by the addition of mannitol to the bathing medium. Ionic dilution under these circumstances causes a decline in the overshoot of the action potential (resulting largely from reduction in [Na+]0) and an appreciable axonal hyperpolarization (primarily as a result of decrease in [K+]0). This hyperpolarization tends to compensate for the reduction in the extent of the overshoot and so maintains the amplitude of the sodium-mediated action potentials during isosmotic dilution of the bathing medium. The axonal hyperpolarization also appears to reduce sodium inactivation so as to maintain a rapid rate of rise of the action potential despite drastic reduction in the ionic concentration of the bathing medium. Prolonged exposure to reduced ionic concentrations appears to induce a ouabain sensitive reduction in intracellular sodium concentration which increases the sodium gradient across the axon membrane during isosmotic dilution of the external medium.
Axonal Adaptations to Osmotic and Ionic Stress in an Invertebrate Osmoconformer (Mercierella Enigmatica Fauvel): II. Effects of Ionic Dilution on the Resting and Action Potentials
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J. A. BENSON, J. E. TREHERNE; Axonal Adaptations to Osmotic and Ionic Stress in an Invertebrate Osmoconformer (Mercierella Enigmatica Fauvel): II. Effects of Ionic Dilution on the Resting and Action Potentials. J Exp Biol 1 October 1978; 76 (1): 205–219. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.76.1.205
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