Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 198, Issue 7, pp 525–540 | Cite as

Involvement of Na+/K+pump in fine modulation of bursting activity of the snail Br neuron by 10 mT static magnetic field

  • Ljiljana Nikolić
  • Nataša Todorović
  • Joanna Zakrzewska
  • Marina Stanić
  • Snežana Rauš
  • Aleksandar Kalauzi
  • Branka Janać
Original Paper


The spontaneously active Br neuron from the brain-subesophageal ganglion complex of the garden snail Helix pomatia rhythmically generates regular bursts of action potentials with quiescent intervals accompanied by slow oscillations of membrane potential. We examined the involvement of the Na+/K+ pump in modulating its bursting activity by applying a static magnetic field. Whole snail brains and Br neuron were exposed to the 10-mT static magnetic field for 15 min. Biochemical data showed that Na+/K+-ATPase activity increased almost twofold after exposure of snail brains to the static magnetic field. Similarly, 31P NMR data revealed a trend of increasing ATP consumption and increase in intracellular pH mediated by the Na+/H+ exchanger in snail brains exposed to the static magnetic field. Importantly, current clamp recordings from the Br neuron confirmed the increase in activity of the Na+/K+ pump after exposure to the static magnetic field, as the magnitude of ouabain’s effect measured on the membrane resting potential, action potential, and interspike interval duration was higher in neurons exposed to the magnetic field. Metabolic pathways through which the magnetic field influenced the Na+/K+ pump could involve phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, as blocking these processes abolished the effect of the static magnetic field.


Bursting activity Current clamp Na+/K+ pump Static magnetic field Snail 



Action potential


Interspike interval


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Protein kinase A


Protein kinase G




Inorganic phosphate




Maximum value of resting membrane potential


Static magnetic field



This study was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia (grant no. 173027). The authors are grateful to Dr. Gordana Kartelija for her advice and general support during the experimental work.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The experiments comply with the current laws of the Republic of Serbia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ljiljana Nikolić
    • 1
  • Nataša Todorović
    • 1
  • Joanna Zakrzewska
    • 2
  • Marina Stanić
    • 3
  • Snežana Rauš
    • 1
  • Aleksandar Kalauzi
    • 3
  • Branka Janać
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurophysiology, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute of General and Physical ChemistryBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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