Radiotracer techniques were used to study the influxes and effluxes of various univalent cations in internally perfused squid giant axons. Membrane currents and conductances were determined by the voltage-clamp technique under analogous internal and external conditions. Both sodium-containing and sodium-free internal and external media were studied. Membrane impedance was measured with an ac impedance bridge to determine the general magnitude and time course of the impedance loss which accompanied the excitation process in both varieties of external media. Maximum transmembrane currents were found to be of comparable magnitude to the charge transfer associated with the peak interdiffusion flux measured under the same conditions. The product of the membrane resistance and the interdiffusion flux remained constant over a wide range of resistance and flux values, both at rest and during activity, both in sodium-containing and sodium-free media. The implications of these findings for excitation theory are discussed.

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