Cells of Nitella flexilis Ag. lose their power to respond to ordinary electrical stimulation after 2 or 3 days in distilled water. It returns after a day or so when they are replaced in their normal environment, in a suitable nutrient solution, or in a dilute solution of CaCl2.
Here anesthesia seems to be produced by removing something from the cell and this raises the question whether other cases of anesthesia may be explained in the same way.
The antagonistic action of calcium, in some cases at least, appears to depend on its power to prevent substances from leaching out of the cell.