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Ion Transport in Excitable Cells

  • R. D. Keynes
Conference paper

Abstract

All the available evidence indicates that there are two different and entirely distinct pathways by which sodium and (potassium ions can cross the membranes of nerve and muscle fibres—the excitability mechanism and the pump (or recovery) mechanism. The two types of channel for the passage of cations exist side by side in the membrane, but as can be seen in Table 1 there are a number of ways in which one of them can be greatly affected while the other is quite unaffected, and their properties are so dissimilar that their separateness can no longer be doubted. It is possible that both mechanisms exploit the same fundamental physicochemical differences between hydrated Na+ and K+-ions in order to tell them apart, but even in this respect they behave differently towards Na+ and Li+-ions, and may therefore lack a common basis for their discrimination. The discussion which follows is concerned only with the pump mechanism, and I must emphasize that my remarks are not relevant to the downhill ion transport involved in the propagation of impulses.

Keywords

Cardiac Glycoside Excitable Cell Sodium Pump Maximum Flux Giant Axon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. Keynes
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research CouncilInstitute of Animal PhysiologyBabraham, CambridgeEngland

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