Donnan potentials from striated muscle liquid crystals. A-band and I-band measurements

R. A. Aldoroty, E. W. April

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9 Scopus citations


A-band and I-band potentials are measured selectively in crayfish skinned long-tonic muscle fibers. The microelectrode tip diameters used in this study are shown to be sufficiently small to permit the discrete placement of an electrode into either an A-band or I-band. Random and directed impalements into mechanically skinned fibers with microelectrodes yields reproducible trimodal distributions of potentials where the modalities represent the A-band (-1.80 mV), the I-band (-0.76 mV), and the Z-line vicinity (-3.63 mV). In conjunction with Donnan equilibrium theory, fixed charge concentrations are calculated from the measured potentials for the A-band (25.9 mmol e-/l), I-band (10.9 mmol e-/l), and Z-line vicinity (52.3 mmol e-/l). When skinned fibers are treated with Triton X-100, the mean potentials (and charge concentrations) decrease: A-band to -1.71 mV (24.6 mmol e-/l), I-band to -0.71 mV (10.2 mmol e-/l), and the Z-line vicinity to -3.40 mV (49.0 mmol e/l). In the A-band this represents a loss of 1.3 mmol e-/l while in the I-band 0.7 mmol e-/l are lost; both decreases are attributed to the removal of internal membranous structures. In the rigor condition the A-band increases to -2.18 mV (33.1 mmol e-/l) and the I-band increases to -0.88 mV (13.3 mmol e-/l). Relative to the relaxed condition, this represents an increase of 8.5 mmol e-/l and 3.1 mmol e-/l in the A-band and I-band, respectively. The evidence shows that it is practical to measure A-band and I-band potentials selectively. Further, it is demonstrated that similar measurements can be obtained from agar, another polyelectrolyte gel system (see Appendix).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-779
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984


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