Letter | Published:

Sodium Influx and Excitation in Uterine Smooth Muscle

Naturevolume 192pages11891190 (1961) | Download Citation



THE applicability of the ionic hypothesis of excitation, more specifically the transient increase of sodium permeability during an action potential1, has not been extended to smooth muscles in general. This is due largely to serious technical difficulties in impaling the small cells of smooth muscles, as shown by the comparatively low and widely variable values of membrane potentials for smooth muscles. Direct tests of the effect of sodium deprivation on the action potential are therefore rather difficult to make. Additional confusion has been caused by claims that action potentials persist in media containing very little sodium2 or no sodium at all3.

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    Hodgkin, A. L., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 148, 1 (1958).

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    Daniel, E. E., and Singh, H., Canad. J. Biochem. Physiol., 36, 959 (1958).

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    Huxley, A. F., in Mineral Metabolism, 1 A, 163 (Academic Press, New York, 1960).

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    Marshall, J. M., Amer. J. Physiol., 197, 935 (1959).

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    Weidmann, S., Electrophysologie der Herzmuskelfaser (Verlag Hans Huber, Berne and Stuttgart, 1956).

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    Keynes, R. D., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 142, 359 (1954).

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    Kao, C. Y., Amer. J. Physiol., 201, 714 (1961).

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  1. Department of Pharmacology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York

    • C. Y. KAO
    •  & D. ZAKIM
  2. Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York

    • F. BRONNER


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