The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 21–39 | Cite as

Membrane capacity of squid giant axon during hyper- and depolarizations

  • Shiro Takashima


The change in membrane capacitance and conductance of squid giant axons during hyper- and depolarizations was investigated. The measurements of capacitance and conductance were performed using an admittance bridge with resting, hyperpolarized and depolarized membranes. The duration of DC pulses is 20–40 msec and is long enough to permit the admittance measurements between 1 and 50 kHz. The amplitudes of DC pulses were varied between 0 and 40mV for both depolarization and hyperpolarization. Within these limited experimental conditions, we found a substantial increase in membrane capacitance with depolarization and a decrease with hyperpolarization. Our results indicate that the change in membrane capacitance will increase further if low frequencies are used with larger depolarizing pulses. The change in membrane capacitance is frequency dependent and it increases with decreasing frequencies. The analyses based on an equivalent circuit (vide infra) gives rise to a time constant of active membrane capacitance close to that of sodium currents. This result indicates that the observed capacitance changes may arise from sodium channels. A brief discussion is given on the nature of frequency-dependent membrane capacitance of nerve axons.


Sodium Time Constant Human Physiology Equivalent Circuit Sodium Channel 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiro Takashima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering D2University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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