An electrodiffusion model for negative resistance of excitable nerve axon membranes



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In developing a model for the steady-state negative resistance of the squid axon from the standpoint of electrodiffusion, the following assumptions produce results which are in reasonable agreement with experimental observations: (1) The electric field in the squid axon membrane is essentially uniform and (2) Na+ and K+ cations move according to a single file interstitial migration mechanism and independently of each other. Assumptions (1) and (2) are sufficient for the appearance of a negative resistance. An important conclusion drawn from the results is that the currents crossing the axon membrane need not depend on mechanisms such as ion-specific carriers, chemical gates, redistribution of pores, etc. Any of these may be involved, but there is at present apparently no theoretical necessity to include them as effective causes.