In the giant axon of Loligo pealii, "aconitine potent" Merck added to the bath (10-7 to 1.25 x 10-6 gm/ml) (a) had no effect on resting membrane potential, membrane resistance and rectification, membrane response to subthreshold currents, critical depolarization, or action potential, but (b) on repetitive stimulation produced oscillations of membrane potential after the spike, depolarization, and decrease of membrane resistance. The effect sums with successive action potentials; it increases with concentration of aconitine, time of exposure, and frequency of stimulation. When the oscillations are large enough and the membrane potential is 51.6 ± SD 1.5 mv a burst of self-sustained activity begins; it usually lasts 20 to 70 sec. and at its end the membrane potential is 41.5 ± SD 1.9 mv. Repolarization occurs with a time constant of 2.5 to 11.1 min. Substitution of choline for external sodium after a burst hyperpolarizes the membrane to -70 mv, and return to normal external sodium depolarizes again beyond the resting membrane potential. The effect of aconitine on the membrane is attributed to an increase of sodium and potassium or chloride conductances following the action potential.

This content is only available as a PDF.