Mar 1, 1972

The capacitance of skeletal muscle fibers in solutions of low ionic strength

The Journal of General Physiology
P C VaughanR S Eisenberg

Abstract

The capacitance of skeletal muscle fibers was measured by recording with one microelectrode the voltage produced by a rectangular pulse of current applied with another microelectrode. The ionic strength of the bathing solution was varied by isosmotic replacement of NaCl with sucrose, the [K] [Cl] product being held constant. The capacitance decreased with decreasing ionic strength, reaching a value of some 2 microF/cm(2) in solutions of 30 mM ionic strength, and not decreasing further in solutions of 15 mM ionic strength. The capacitance of glycerol-treated fibers did not change with ionic strength and was also some 2 microF/cm(2). It seems likely that lowering the ionic strength reduces the capacitance of the tubular system (defined as the charge stored in the tubular system), and that the 2 microF/cm(2) which is insensitive to ionic strength is associated with the surface membrane. The tubular system is open to the external solution in low ionic strength solutions since peroxidase is able to diffuse into the lumen of the tubules. Twitches and action potentials were also recorded from fibers in low ionic strength solutions, even though the capacitance of the tubular system was very small in these solutions. This finding can be...Continue Reading

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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Rana pipiens
Ovoperoxidase
Microelectrodes
Glycerin
Entire Lumen of Body System
Action Potentials
Peroxidases
Slow-K
Electron Microscopy
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum

About this Paper

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