Letter | Published:

Transient Responses of Purkinje Fibres to Non-uniform Currents

Naturevolume 199pages12941295 (1963) | Download Citation



COMPARISONS between experimentally recorded responses of cardiac muscle to applied currents1–3 and responses predicted by a modified form of the Hodgkin–Huxley nerve equations4 have led to conflicting conclusions about the applicability of these equations to the cardiac cell membrane2,4,5. The existence of a negative membrane conductance in the equations means that strong enough inward currents applied uniformly to the membrane during the plateau of the action potential should initiate an all-or-nothing repolarization response. Fig. 1 shows computed responses to uniform currents.

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    Cranefield, P. F., and Hoffman, B. F., J. Gen. Physiol., 41, 633 (1958). Hoffman, B. F., and Cranefield, P. F., Electrophysiology of the Heart (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960).

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    Noble, D., Nature, 188, 495 (1960); J. Physiol., 160, 317 (1962); Proc. Intern. Cong. Physiol. Sci., (Leyden), 1, 177 (1962).

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    Woodbury, J. W., Biophysics of Physiological and Pharmacological Actions, edit. by Shanes, 501 (1961); Handbook of Physiology, Sec. 2 Circ., 1, 237 (1962).

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    Noble, D., Biophysic. J., 2, 381 (1962). Noble, D., and Hall, A. E., ibid., 3, 261 (1963). Hall, A. E., and Noble, D., J. Physiol., 165, 18 P (1963).

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  1. Department of Physiology, University College, London

    • A. E. HALL
    •  & D. NOBLE


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