Document Detail

Interaction of apical and basal membrane ion channels underlies electroreception in ampullary epithelia of skates.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7529586     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The exquisite sensitivity of elasmobranch fishes to electric fields is thought to reside in electroreceptive organs called ampullae of Lorenzini. We measured the stimulus-response behavior of ampullary organs excised from skates. Under open-circuit conditions, the ampullary organ showed three distinct response states: spontaneous repetitive spikes, evoked spikes, and small, damped oscillatory responses. Under short-circuit conditions, the amplitude range for a linear current response to a sinusoidal (0.5 Hz) voltage clamp of an organ (assessed by spectral analysis of the harmonics generated) was 7-200 microV rms. Changes in the spike firing rate of the afferent nerve innervating the organ were evident for voltage clamps of the ampullary epithelium of 3 microV and the spike rate saturated for clamp steps exceeding 100 microV. Thus, the linear response range of the ampullary epithelium exceeded the range in spike firing rate of the afferent nerve. The steady-state transorgan electrical properties under voltage clamp conditions were obtained by analysis of complex admittance determinations in the frequency range 0.05-20 Hz for perturbations (< 100 microV rms) in the linear range. Admittance functions were distinctly related to the preparation states observed under open-circuit conditions. A negative real part in the organ admittance (i.e., a steady-state negative conductance generated by the preparation) was a common characteristic of the two (open-circuit) excitable states. The negative conductance was also confirmed by the direction of current flow through the ampullary epithelium in response to step voltage clamps. We conclude that the steady state-negative conductance is an essential property of the ampullary epithelium,and we suggest that the interplay of negative and positive conductances generated by ion channels in apical and basal membranes of receptor cells results in signal amplification that may contribute significantly to the electric field sensitivity of ampullary organs.
J Lu; H M Fishman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  In Vitro; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biophysical journal     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0006-3495     ISO Abbreviation:  Biophys. J.     Publication Date:  1994 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-02-13     Completed Date:  1995-02-13     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370626     Medline TA:  Biophys J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1525-33     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0641.
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MeSH Terms
Afferent Pathways / physiology
Cell Membrane / physiology*
Electric Conductivity
Electric Organ / physiology*
Electric Stimulation
Electrophysiology / instrumentation,  methods
Epithelium / physiology
Ion Channels / physiology*
Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
Membrane Potentials
Skates (Fish)
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Ion Channels
Comment In:
Biophys J. 1994 Oct;67(4):1367-8   [PMID:  7529577 ]

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