The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 39–66 | Cite as

Kinetic properties of electrostatic pores with orientable dipoles, for Na+ and K+ transport through biological membranes

  • D. Van Lamsweerde-Gallez
  • A. Meessen


The model, used previously to account for the transport of K+ ions through squid axon membranes under steady-state conditions, is extended to the description of the kinetic behavior of Na+ and K+ currents, for sudden variations of the applied potential. Theoretical curves are obtained by numerical integration of the electrodiffusion equation for ions within pores, with variable boundary conditions resulting from a progressive reorientation of dipoles at the pore surfaces. The pores are supposed to be selective and the dipole parameters are allowed to be different for Na+ and K+ pores.

The K+ current varies with time, in agreement with the K+ dipole parameters deduced from the steady-state results of Gilbert and Ehrenstein (1969). The dipole parameters for the Na+ current are deduced from the steady-state results of Armstrong, Bezanilla & Rojas (1973), where the inactivation phase of the Na+ current is suppressed by introducing pronase in the inside solution. The dipole reorientation is relevant to explain the sigmoid shape of the activation phase of the Na+ current, while the inactivation phase seems to resort to another physical mechanism. The predictions based on this model agree with the experimental results for the steady-statenegative resistance and thegating current, associated both with a reorientation of surface dipoles, as well as the activation phase of the Na+ current using a consistent set of parameters for all these comparisons.


Activation Phase Variable Boundary Kinetic Behavior Inside Solution Theoretical Curf 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Van Lamsweerde-Gallez
    • 1
  • A. Meessen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de PhysiqueUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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