Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Gen Physiol. 1990 Aug;96(2):225-56.

Membrane capacitance in frog cut twitch fibers mounted in a double vaseline-gap chamber.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


In experiments on cut muscle fibers mounted in a double Vaseline-gap chamber, electrical measurements are usually made by measuring the voltage V1(t) in one end pool and by passing current I2(t) from the other end pool to the central pool, which is usually clamped to earth potential. The voltage in the current-passing end pool is denoted by V2(t). This article describes how the value of the holding current, Ih, and the values of delta V2(infinity)/delta V1(infinity) and delta I2(infinity)/delta V1(infinity) that are associated with a small change in V1(t) can be used to estimate the linear cable parameters rm, ri, and re in a cut fiber that has been equilibrated with a Cs-containing internal solution. rm, ri, and re represent, respectively, the resistance of the plasma membranes, the internal longitudinal resistance, and the external longitudinal resistance under the Vaseline seals, all for a unit length of fiber. The apparent capacitance, Capp, of the preparation is defined to equal integral of infinity 0 delta I2,tr(t) dt/delta V1(infinity), in which delta I2,tr(t) represents the transient component of current that is associated with a change in V1(t) of amplitude delta V1(infinity). A method is described to estimate cm, the capacitance of the plasma membranes per unit length of fiber, from Capp and the values of rm, ri, and re. In experiments carried out with a tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA.Cl) solution at 13-14 degrees C in the central pool, cm remained stable for as long as 3-4 h. The values of cm, 0.19 microF/cm on average, and their variation with fiber diameter are similar to published results from intact fibers. This article also describes the different pathways that are taken by the current that flows from the current-passing end pool to the central pool. Approximately two-thirds of delta I2,tr(t) flows across the capacitance of the plasma membranes in the central-pool region. The rest flows either across plasma membranes that are under the two Vaseline seals or directly from the current-passing end pool to the central pool, across the external longitudinal resistance under the Vaseline seal. [There is also a current that flows directly from the voltage-measuring end pool to the central pool but this does not contribute to delta I2,tr(t).]

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk