Aspects of Eukaryotic Cells

  • Andrew C. Hall
  • David M. Pickles
  • Alister G. Macdonald
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 17)


The first experiments in high pressure physiology were observations on aquatic animals and isolated tissues, such as muscle and nerve (Regnard 1885). The interpretation of the effects seen had to await the development of modern physiology and biochemistry, and are still far from complete. In its second stage of development the field became more biophysical, with research into (a) bioluminescence (Johnson et al. 1974); (b) the colloidal structure of eukaryotic cells (Marsland 1970); and (c) the excitability of nerves and the contractility of muscle (Cattell 1936). These investigations progressed relatively rapidly because in (a), rate process theory and enzyme kinetics, and in (b) colloidal ideas on the dynamic structure of cytoplasm, each provided a rationale for interpreting the results. Excitability and contractility remained complex phenomenological fields, strong in experimental work but lacking the molecular details necessary for applying physical chemical methods of analysis. This situation has now changed as is clear from sections 3 and 4. One of the pioneers in the field, Ebbecke, clearly perceived the possibilities of the subject noting that “we can expect too, the compression effects which universally affect physiological processes to be instructive in the dynamics and molecular kinetics of normal life and cell exchange” (Ebbecke 1936). Furthermore, Ebbecke appeared to have ideas about the fluid mosaic nature of cell membranes, well ahead of his time (see Macdonald 1987, for a translated account). In the relatively recent growth of our understanding of the properties of lipid bilayers and protein-lipid interactions, high pressure has played its role but that is not dealt with here, however, having been reviewed recently (Macdonald 1987; Wong et al. 1988).


Articular Cartilage Hydrostatic Pressure Synthesis Rate Chum Salmon High Hydrostatic Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Hall
    • 1
  • David M. Pickles
    • 2
  • Alister G. Macdonald
    • 3
  1. 1.University Laboratory of PhysiologyOxfordUK
  2. 2.Comparative Orthopaedic Research Unit, Department of AnatomyUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  3. 3.School of Biomedical Sciences, Marischal CollegeUniversity of AberdeenUK

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