The efflux of Mg++ from squid axons subject to internal solute control by dialysis is a function of ionized [Mg], [Na], [ATP], and [Na]o. The efflux of Mg++ from an axon with physiological concentrations of ATP, Na, and Mg inside into seawater is of the order of 2-4 pmol/cm2s but this efflux is strongly inhibited by increases in [Na]i, by decreases in [ATP]i, or by decreases in [Na]o. The efflux of Mg++ is largely independent of [Mg]i when ATP is at physiological levels, but in the absence of ATP reaches half the value of Mg efflux in be presence of ATP when [Mg]i is about 4 mM and [Na] 40 mM. Half-maximum responses to ATP occur at about 350 micronM ATP into seawater with Na either present or absent. The Mg efflux mechanism has many similarities to the Ca efflux system in squid axons especially with respect to the effects of ATP, Nao, and Na on the flux. The concentrations of free Mg and Ca in axoplasm differ, however, by a factor of 10(5) while the observed fluxes differ by a factor of 10(2).

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