Asymmetrical displacement current and its relation with the activation of sodium current in the membrane of frog myelinated nerve

B. Neumcke, W. Nonner, R. Stämpfli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations


1. Sodium currents (INa) and asymmetrical displacement currents (ID) were measured in the same nerve fibres from Rana esculenta under similar conditions. 2. For exploring possible kinetic and steady state relations between INa and ID the following quantities were compared: (i) the activation of the sodium channels and (ii) the charge displacement of ID. 3. The delay of sodium activation increased after hyperpolarization. A corresponding effect on the displacement of charge was not observed. 4. Upon a small depolarization sodium activation rose slower than the displacement of charge, whereas at large depolarizations sodium activation reached a steady level before the charge displacement. 5. Upon repolarization to various levels between -52 and 12 mV relative to the resting potential, the ratio between the time constants of charge displacement and of sodium tail current varied between 3 and 1. 6. In the steady state the sodium activation was one half at about the same potential as the charge displacement but exhibited a clearly steeper voltage dependence. 7. Blockage of sodium channels with tetrodotoxin did not affect the asymmetrical displacement current. Replacing a part of external Na by tris did not alter the sodium activation process. 8. The results indicate that the asymmetrical displacement of charge may reflect states of the gating mechanism in sodium channels but cannot be considered as a correlate of the Hodgkin Huxley m variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalPflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1976
Externally publishedYes



  • Gating current
  • Myelinated nerve
  • Node of Ranvier
  • Sodium channel
  • Voltage clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this