The Et class of fibers includes fibers of Gasser's d.r. C group.
The fibers of the dorsal root are more sensitive to the effect of lack of sodium than are the fibers of the ventral root.
In the two roots there is a gradient of sensitivity to the lack of sodium, which is such that in all the root fibers the sensitivity decreases with increasing distance from the spinal cord. The gradient continues in the trunk up to about 10 to 12 mm. peripheral to the trunk-roots margin. No comparable gradient of sensitivity to the lack of sodium has been observed in the rest of the nerve trunk.
The gradient of sensitivity to the lack of sodium has no relationship to the anatomical distribution of the epineurium.
As a working hypothesis it is suggested that the gradient of sensitivity to the lack of sodium is one aspect of a transitional gradient that serves to establish a gradual change between the properties that the axons have inside the spinal cord and the properties that they have inside the nerve trunks.
Details are given of the temporal course of the loss of excitability by root fibers deprived of sodium. It is suggested that sodium is present in the nerve fibers, in 2 forms, loosely and tightly bound sodium and that loss of loosely bound sodium is sufficient to render the nerve fibers unable to conduct impulses. If the rate of loss of loosely bound sodium is decreased, conversion of tightly bound into loosely bound sodium may temporarily restore the excitability of the nerve fibers.