The ion permeability of the membrane junctions between Chironomus salivary gland cells is strongly depressed by treatments that are generally known to inhibit energy metabolism. These treatments include prolonged cooling at 6°–8°C, and exposure to dinitrophenol, cyanide, oligomycin, and N-ethylmaleimide. Intracellular injection of ATP appears to prevent depression of junctional permeability by dinitrophenol or to reverse it. Ouabain, azide, p-chloromercuriphenylsulfonic acid, reserpine, and acetazolamide fail to depress junctional permeability. Thus the ion permeability of the junctional membranes appears to depend on energy provided by oxidative phosphorylation. Possible energy-linked processes for maintaining junctional permeability are discussed, including processes involving transport of permeability-modifying species such as Ca++.

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