Ion Channels in Rana Pipiens Oocytes: Changes During Maturation and Fertilization

  • Lyanne C. Schlichter


This chapter represents a personal view of the frog oocyte during maturation and fertilization, as seen through the eyes of an electrophysiologist. “The frog” is, in this case, the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. To facilitate description of the electrical properties of the oocyte and to make this chapter of broader usefulness I begin with a description of the resting membrane (voltage and resistance) and give many technical tips on making and interpreting such measurements (Section B). Next, I describe the technique of voltage clamping and include many technical tips for voltage clamping frog oocytes (Section C). Then, the maturing oocyte (metaphase I to metaphase II) is considered in some detail; first by a description of the changes in action potential propagation and ionic basis (Section D), then a voltage-clamp study of the total membrane current and its ionic basis (Section E). Methods were developed to isolate each of the three voltage-dependent currents and some properties of each are treated in Section F (C1 current), Section G (K+ current) and Section H (Na+ current). Then, I will briefly describe electrical events associated with fertilization and activation of immature and mature oocytes and will speculate on their relationship to the ion channels present at the various stages of maturation (Section I). Finally, I will speculate about mechanisms of channel regulation and will suggest further studies (Section J). Throughout this chapter, I will intersperse figures drawn from my papers in press and redrawn from our published papers. The sections called Technical Tips will describe tricks and procedures that I have found useful in making electrical recordings from Rana eggs. Most of them will be applicable to eggs of other species.


Current Pulse Outward Current Voltage Clamp Mature Oocyte Tail Current 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyanne C. Schlichter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Medical Sciences BuildingUniversity of Toronto Medical SchoolTorontoCanada

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