The pacemaker neurons of the Squilla heart ganglion are innervated from the CNS through three pairs of extrinsic nerves. One of them, the α-nerve, is inhibitory to the heart beat. The effect of α-nerve stimulation on the pacemaker potential was examined with intracellular electrodes. Without extrinsic nerve stimulation the membrane potential of the pacemaker cell fluctuated spontaneously. On application of a tetanic train of stimuli to the α-nerve the membrane potential was shifted and fixed to a steady level, which with K2SO4-filled electrodes was near the peak of hyperpolarization after a spontaneous burst, but was less negative with KCl-filled electrodes. The shift of the membrane potential was due to the summated IPSP's. By changing the level of the membrane potential with injection of the polarizing current the IPSP could be reversed in sign, and the size of the IPSP was linearly correlated with the membrane potential level. During inhibition the membrane conductance increased. The increase depended on divalent cation concentrations in the outside medium. In Ca-rich saline the IPSP was greatly enhanced. In Mg-rich saline it was suppressed. The amplitude of antidromic spikes was reduced during inhibition especially when the spike frequency was high.

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