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J Membr Biol. 1975-1976;25(3-4):361-80.

Mitochondrial uncoupling agents. Effects on membrane permeability of molluscan neurons.


Agents which uncouple oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria were applied to identified neurons in an isolated ganglion of the marine mollusc Navanax inermis. Aromatic monocarboxylic acids, acetanilides, benzamides, benzaldehydes and phenols all caused a rapid, reversible, dose-dependent increase in the membrane potential and conductance of the neurons tested. These events were due primarily to an increase in the membrane's conductance to potassium, relative to chloride. All active compounds also produced a reversible, dose-dependent decrease in the permeability of alkali-cations relative to potassium. The relative activity of congeners in each group of substances was directly correlated with the octanol-water partition coefficients of the various compounds, indicating that hydrophobicity was important in determining drug effect and suggesting that steric requirements were minimal. The results suggest that the observed changes in membrane electrical properties and cation selectivity are due to an increase in the membrane's anionic field strength caused by the hydrophobic interaction of anionic and nonionic agents with the neuronal membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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