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Excitation Process and Swelling of Nerve Fibers

  • Ichiji Tasaki


It is now firmly established that nerve fibers swell transiently when they are excited1-4. A variety of nerve cells were also shown to undergo rapid swelling when excited5,6. Viewed from a colloid chemical standpoint, this transient swelling is a very interesting phenomenon. In my opinion, however, the real significance of this phenomenon lies in the fact that it throws new light on the mechanism of nerve excitation. As is generally known, many present-day neurobiologists employ equivalent electric circuits of the nerve membrane in explaining their experimental data. The physicochemical basis of these equivalent circuits is obscure. Our analyses of non-electrical manifestations of excitation process furnish a basis for an alternative, physico-chemically oriented interpretation of the excitation process.


Nerve Fiber Monovalent Cation Nerve Impulse Bivalent Cation Myelinated Nerve Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ichiji Tasaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cell BiologyNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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