Electric current flow in cell pairs isolated from adult rat hearts.


Cell pairs were isolated from ventricles of adult rat hearts so as to study cell-to-cell coupling. Both cells of each pair were impaled with micro-electrodes connected to balanced bridge circuits. Rectangular current pulses were passed and the resulting voltage deflexions monitored. The data were analysed in terms of a delta configuration of three resistive elements, the resistances of the non-junctional membrane of cell 1 and cell 2 (rm, 1 and rm, 2), and the resistance of the nexal membrane (rn). The nexal membrane resistance was found to be insensitive to voltage gradients across the non-junctional membrane (range examined: -70 to -10 mV) and direction of current flow. The mean value of rn was 2.12 M omega ([K+]o = 12 mM). Taking into account morphological parameters, this corresponds to a specific nexal membrane resistance (Rn) of 0.1 omega cm2. Spontaneous uncoupling in which one cell remained polarized while the other one depolarized was never observed. The current-voltage relationship of the non-junctional membrane was found to be bell-shaped. The specific resistance (Rm) at the resting membrane potential (approximately -50 mV) was 3.2 k omega cm2 ([K+]o = 12 mM). Comparative studies performed on single cells revealed a similar relationship Rm versus Vm. Rm at the resting membrane potential (Vm approximately -50 mV) was 2.5 k omega cm2 ([K+]o = 12 mM). The specific capacitance of the non-junctional membrane (Cm) was determined from experiments on single cells. Cm was found to be independent of Vm (voltage range: -80 to 0 mV). The mean value of Cm was 1.66 microF/cm2 ([K+]o = 12 mM). For comparison, experiments on cell pairs and single cells were also carried out with [K+]o = 4 mM. The values obtained for Rn, Rm and Cm did not deviate significantly from those found with [K+]o = 12 mM.


Citations per Year

1,972 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 1,972 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Metzger1985ElectricCF, title={Electric current flow in cell pairs isolated from adult rat hearts.}, author={Philipp Metzger and Robert Weingart}, journal={The Journal of physiology}, year={1985}, volume={366}, pages={177-95} }