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

The electrical potential difference through the foot epithelium of the snail Achatina achatina, Lameere during mechanical and chemical stimulation.

An important electrophysiological variable--the transepithelial potential difference reflects the electrogenic transepithelial ion currents, which are produced and modified by ion transport processes in polarized cells of epithelium. These processes result from coordinated function of transporters in apical and basolateral cell membranes and have been observed in all epithelial tissues studied so far. The experiments were performed on isolated specimens of snail foot. In the experiments, the baseline transepithelial electrical potential difference--PD, changes of transepithelial difference during mechanical stimulation--dPD and the transepithelial resistance were measured with an Ussing apparatus. A total of 60 samples of foot ventral surface of 28 snails were studied. The transepithelial electrical potential difference of isolated foot ranged from -6.0 to 10.0 mV under different experimental conditions. Mechanical stimulation of foot ventral surface caused changes of electrogenic ion transport, observed as transient hyperpolarization (electrical potential difference became more positive). When the transepithelial electrical potential difference decreased during stimulation, the reaction was described as depolarization. When amiloride and bumetanide were added to the stimulating fluid so that the sodium and chloride ion transport pathways were inhibited, prolonged depolarization occurred. Under the influence of different stimuli: mechanical (gentle rinsing), chemical (changes of ion concentrations) and pharmacological (application of ion inhibitors), transient changes of potential difference (dPD) were evoked, ranging from about -0.7 to almost 2.0 mV. Changes in transepithelial potential difference of the pedal surface of the snail's foot related to these physiological stimuli are probably involved in the locomotion of the animal and are under control of the part of the nervous system in which tachykinin related peptides ( TRP) act as transmitters.[1]


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