Chemical Control of Excitable Membranes during Electrical Activity

  • David Nachmansohn


Excitable membranes are endowed with the special ability to change rapidly permeability toions. The ion movements thereby effected are the carriers of electric currents which propagate nerve impulses along nerve and muscle fibers. There is no alternative to the assumption that these extremely precise, specific, rapid and reversible changes of the membrane permeability are controlled by chemical reactions. The small initial heat during the activity of nerve fibers, measured some 40 years ago by A. V. Hill and his associates, was attributed by Hodgkin [1], in 1951, to ion mixing, thereby excluding chemical processes. The recent heat production measurements of A. V. Hill and his associates [2] have virtually eliminated this interpretation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Nachmansohn
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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