The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 159–169 | Cite as

Sodium currents in the giant axon of the crabCarcinus maenas

  • M. Emilia Quinta-Ferreira
  • N. Arispe
  • E. Rojas


Measurements were made of the kinetics and steady-state properties of the sodium conductance changes in the giant axon of the crabCarcinus maenas. The conductance measurements were made in the presence of small concentrations of tetrodotoxin and as much electrical compensation as possible in order to minimize errors caused by the series resistance. After an initial delay of 10–150 μsec, the conductance increase during depolarizing voltage clamp pulses followed the Hodgkin-Huxley kinetics. Values of the time constant for the activation of the sodium conductance lay on a bell-shaped curve with a maximum under 180 μsec at −40 mV (at 18°C). Values of the time constant for the inactivation of the sodium conductance were also fitted using a bell-shaped curve with a maximum under 7 msec at −70 mV. The effects of membrane potential on the fraction of Na channels available for activation studied using double pulse protocols suggest that hyperpolarizing potentials more negative than −100 mV lock a fraction of the Na channels in a closed conformation.

Key words

giant axon sodium channel voltage clamp crustacean nerve Na channel gating sodium conductance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Emilia Quinta-Ferreira
    • 1
  • N. Arispe
    • 1
  • E. Rojas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichEngland

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