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Effects of Lithium on Different Membrane Components of Crayfish Stretch Receptor Neurons

By Shosaku Obara and Harry Grundfest


Unlike several other varieties of input membrane, that of the crayfish stretch receptor develops a generator potential in response to stretch when all the Na of the medium is replaced with Li. However, Li depolarizes the receptor neuron, the soma membrane becoming more depolarized than that of the axon. During exposure to Li the cell usually fires spontaneously for a period, and when it becomes quiescent spike electrogenesis fails in the soma but persists in the axon. These effects are seen in the rapidly adapting as well as the slowly adapting cells. The block of spike electrogenesis of the soma membrane is only partly due to the Li-induced depolarization and a significant role must be ascribed to a specific effect of Li

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