These studies have developed and tested an experimental approach to the study of membrane ionic conductance mechanisms in strips of uterine smooth muscle. The experimental and theoretical basis for applying the double sucrose-gap technique is described along with the limitations of this system. Nonpropagating membrane action potentials were produced in response to depolarizing current pulses under current-clamp conditions. The stepwise change of membrane potential under voltage-clamp conditions resulted in a family of ionic currents with voltage- and time-dependent characteristics. In sodium-free solution the peak transient current decreased and its equilibrium potential shifted along the voltage axis toward a more negative internal potential. These studies indicate a sodium-dependent, regenerative excitation mechanism.

This content is only available as a PDF.