Cholinergic IPSP by Stimulation of the Electrogenic Sodium Pump


IN recent years evidence has accumulated that part of the membrane potential of some cells can be due to the activity of an electrogenic sodium pump1–7. This pump can have its activity increased by neurochemical transmitters8–12 or decreased by light stimulating a photo-receptor13. This communication describes the responses of two identified neurones in the right parietal ganglia of the snail Helix aspersa. Both cells are hyperpolarized by acetylcholine (ACh). In Type I the action of ACh is to increase the membrane permeability to chloride ions and so bring the membrane potential towards EC1. In the other cell (Type II) the effect of ACh is slowly to increase the membrane permeability to sodium ions, and the increased sodium concentration of the neurone stimulates the electrogenic sodium pump and so hyperpolarizes the cell.

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KERKUT, G., BROWN, L. & WALKER, R. Cholinergic IPSP by Stimulation of the Electrogenic Sodium Pump. Nature 223, 864–865 (1969).

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