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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of Ba ions on frog's isolated muscle spindle.

Dilute solutions of Barium Chloride have been tested on frog's isolated muscle spindles with the aim of clarifying the processes leading to the afferent discharge. In the presence of Ba++ the spindle properties are modified as follows: 1. The discharge of slack spindles increases and becomes extremely regular. 2. The phasic response to stretching is enhanced, the tonic responses being on the contrary virtually suppressed. Under Ba-treatment therefore the spindle changes from a phasic-tonic receptor to a merely phasic receptor. 3. The "silent period" following every propagated spike is prolonged while the safety margin of the "abortive" into propagated spike conversion becomes maximal under Ba-treatment. Additionally, this analysis showed that, when a "true" action potential arises in the spindle, it propagates not only to the stem fibre, but also to all the sensory endings in the spindle intracapsular network. Comparison between the effects of Ba++ and those produced by TEA and ouabain indicates that the action of Ba++ on muscle spindles results from conjunction of two factors : a) reduction of K permeability, and b) enhanced efficiency of an electrogenic Na/K-pump in spindle nerve membranes.[1]


  1. Effects of Ba ions on frog's isolated muscle spindle. Taglietti, V., Pietra, P., Zucca, G. J. Physiol. (Paris) (1976) [Pubmed]
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