The contribution of Na ions to the electrically excited response was studied in the muscle fibres of mealworm larvae, Tenebrio molitor, using microelectrode techniques. When Ca ions were omitted from the external solution, no action potential could be elicited. However, addition of Na ions to Ca-free medium rendered the fibre excitable again. The amplitude of these action potentials increased with a slope of about 40 mV for a 10-fold elevation of external Na concentrations. Tetrodotoxin had no effect on the initiation of the spike, and Co ions completely suppressed it. Therefore, it seems likely that a Ca-channel, which is utilized by both Na and Ca ions, is the sole factor responsible for the action potential in the mealworm larval muscle fibre membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)