Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 378, Issue 3, pp 243–249 | Cite as

Effect of external potassium on the coupled sodium: Potassium transport ratio of axons

  • Edward M. Lieberman
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


  1. 1.

    Resting membrane potential and the current-voltage relation were measured in crayfish giant axons bathed in various potassium solutions with and without ouabain.

  2. 2.

    Ouabain caused a depolarization of the membrane at each [K] o used but did not affect membrane resistance.

  3. 3.

    The ouabain-sensitive transport current was least (3 μA/cm2) in 0 mM [K] o and greatest (7 μA/cm2) in 16.2 and 21.6 mM [K] o .

  4. 4.

    The assumption was made and some indirect evidence presented that axons equilibrated in various potassium solutions maintain constant internal sodium and potassium concentrations for up to 3 h.

  5. 5.

    On the basis of this assumption, the apparent ratio of coupled Na∶K transport was calculated. It was found to be least (−1.3/l) in 0 mM [K] o and to approach infinity in 16.2 and 21.6 mM [K] o .

  6. 6.

    The data indicate that the apparent variability of the Na∶K exchange ratio likely represents an intrinsic property of the exchange mechanism and is less likely to be explained by a fixed-ratio coupled Na∶K transport operating in parallel with electro-neutral Na∶Na or K∶K exchange.


Key words

Potassium Coupled Na∶K transport Axon Procambarus clarkii 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abercrombie, R. F., DeWeer, P.: Electric current generated by squid giant axon sodium pump: external K and internal ADP effects. Am. J. Physiol.235, (1), C63-C68 (1978)Google Scholar
  2. Adrian, R. H.: The effect of internal and external potassium concentration on the membrane potential of frog muscle. J. Physiol. (Lond.)133, 631–658 (1956)Google Scholar
  3. Adrian, R. H., Slayman, C. L.: Membrane potential and conductance during transport of sodium, potassium and rubidium in frog muscle. J. Physiol. (Lond.)184, 970–1014 (1966)Google Scholar
  4. Baker, P. F., Blaustein, M. P., Keynes, R. D., Manil, J., Shaw, T. I., Steinhardt, R. A.: The ouabain-sensitive fluxes of sodium and potassium in squid giant axons. J. Physiol. (Lond.)200, 459–496 (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Begenisich, T., DeWeer, P.: Ionic interactions in the potassium channel of squid giant axons. Nature269, 710–711 (1977)Google Scholar
  6. Casteels, R., Kuriyama, H.: Membrane potential and ion content in the smooth muscle of the guinea-pig's Taenia Coli at different external potassium concentrations. J. Physiol. (Lond.)184, 120–130 (1966)Google Scholar
  7. Christoffersen, G. R. J., Skibsted, L. H.: Calcium ion activity in physiological salt solutions: Influence of anions substituted for chloride. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.52A, 317–322 (1975)Google Scholar
  8. Cooke, I. M., Leblanc, G., Tauc, L.: Sodium pump stoichiometry in Aplysia neurones from simultaneous current and tracer measurements. Nature251, 254–256 (1974)Google Scholar
  9. DeWeer, P.: Na+, K+ exchange and Na+, Na+ exchange in the giant axon of the squid. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.242, 434–444 (1974)Google Scholar
  10. DeWeer, P., Geduldig, D.: Electrogenic sodium pump in squid grant axon. Science179, 1326–1328 (1973)Google Scholar
  11. Glynn, I. M., Karlish, S. J. D.: The sodium pump. Ann. Rev. Physiol.37, 13–55 (1975)Google Scholar
  12. Glynn, I. M., Karlish, S. J. D.: ATP hydrolysis associated with an uncoupled sodium flux through the sodium pump: Evidence for allosteric effects of intracellular ATP and extracellular sodium. J. Physiol. (Lond.)256, 465–496 (1976)Google Scholar
  13. Gorman, A. L. F., Marmor, M. F.: Contributions of the sodium pump and ionic gradients to the membrane potential of a molluscan neurone. J. Physiol. (Lond.)210, 897–917 (1970)Google Scholar
  14. Karlish, S. J. D., Glynn, I. M.: An uncoupled efflux of sodium ions from human red cells, probably associated with Na-dependent ATPase activity. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.242, 461–470 (1974)Google Scholar
  15. Kennedy, B. G., DeWeer, P.: Relationship between Na∶K and Na∶Na exchange by the sodium pump of skeletal muscle. Nature268, 165–167 (1977)Google Scholar
  16. Lieberman, E. M.: Effect of extracellular potassium on the stead-state electrogenic Na−K transport system of the crayfish giant axon Society of Neuroscience Abstracts, Vol.III, abst. No. 688 (1977)Google Scholar
  17. Lieberman, E. M., Lane, T. G.: The influence of cardioactive steroids, metabolic inhibitors, temperature and sodium on membrane conductance and potential of crayfish giant axons. Pflügers Arch.366, 189–193 (1976)Google Scholar
  18. Lieberman, E. M., Nosek, T. M.: The influence of chloride on the ouabain-sensitive membrane potential and conductance of crayfish giant axons. Pflügers Arch.366, 195–202 (1976)Google Scholar
  19. Miura, D. S., Hoffman, B. F., Rosen, M. R.: The effect of extracellular potassium on the intracellular potassium ion activity and transmembrane potentials of beating canine cardiac Purkinje fibers. J. Gen. Physiol.69, 463–474 (1977)Google Scholar
  20. Moreton, R. B.: An application of the constant-field theory to the behavior of giant neurones of the snail,Helix aspersa. J. Exp. Biol.48, 611–623 (1968)Google Scholar
  21. Moreton, R. B.: An investigation of the electrogenic sodium pump in snail neurones, using the constant field theory. J. Exp. Biol.51, 181–201 (1969)Google Scholar
  22. Mullins, L. J., Brinley, F. J., Jr.: Potassum fluxes in dialyzed squid axons. J. Gen. Physiol.53, 704–740 (1969)Google Scholar
  23. Rang, H. P., Ritchie, J. M.: On the electrogenic sodium pump in mammalian nonmyelinated nerve fibers and its activation by various external cations. J. Physiol. (Lond.)196, 183–221 (1968)Google Scholar
  24. Simons, T. J. B.: Potassium: Potassium exchange catalysed by the sodium pump in human red cells. J. Physiol. (Lond.)237, 123–155 (1974)Google Scholar
  25. Thomas, R. C.: Electrogenic sodium pump in nerve and muscle cells. Physiol. Rev.52, 563–594 (1972)Google Scholar
  26. Van Harreveld, A.: Physiological saline for crayfish. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol.34, 428–432 (1936)Google Scholar
  27. Wallin, B. G.: Intracellular ion concentrations in single crayfish axons. Acta Physiol. Scand.70, 419–430 (1967a)Google Scholar
  28. Wallin, B. G.: The relation between external potassium concentrations, membrane potential and internal ion concentrations in crayfish axons. Acta Physiol. Scand.70, 431–448, (1967b)Google Scholar
  29. Yamagishi, S., Grundfest, H.: Contributions of various ions to the resting and action potentials of crayfish medial giant axons. J. Membr. Biol.5, 345–365 (1971)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward M. Lieberman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations