Squid giant axons, internally and externally perfused with solutions having potassium as the only cation, exhibit an approximately linear steady-state current-voltage relation. When small amounts of calcium and magnesium are present in the external potassium solution, the current-voltage curve is markedly nonlinear, exhibiting the rectification and negative resistance which have been observed for intact axons in isosmotic potassium solutions. The effects of perfusion and removal of external divalent cations are interpreted in terms of two components of current, a linear component and a nonlinear time-varying component. The former is increased and the latter diminished by the removal of the external divalent cations.

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