The equivalent circuit that has been used in the analysis of nerve voltage-clamp data is that of the membrane capacity in parallel with the membrane resistance. Voltage-clamp experiments on frog atrial tissue indicate that this circuit will not suffice for this cardiac tissue. The change in membrane current associated with a step change in membrane potential does not show a rapid spike of capacitive current as would be expected for the simple parallel resistance-capacitance network. Rather, there is a step change in current followed by an exponential decay in current with a time constant of about 1 msec. This relatively slow capacitive charging current suggests that there is a resistance in series with the membrane capacity. A possible equivalent circuit is that of a series resistance external to the parallel resistance-capacitance network of the cell membranes. Another possible circuit assumes that the series resistance is an integral part of the cell membrane. The data presented in this paper demonstrate that the equivalent circuit of a bundle of frog atrial muscle is that of an external resistance in series with the cell membranes.

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