An animal-vegetal net ionic current identified previously using voltage probe techniques in maturing Xenopus laevis oocytes has now been investigated using noninvasive ion-selective microelectrodes. Three-dimensional fluxes of hydrogen (H(+)), potassium (K(+)), and bicarbonate (HCO(3)(-)) were characterized with respect to the developmental stage and hemisphere of the oocyte and presence of surrounding follicular tissue. Variable effluxes of H(+) and HCO(3)(-) were recorded from both the animal and vegetal hemispheres. Variable influxes and effluxes of K(+) were also observed. The equatorial region, silent by voltage probe, exhibited fluxes of H(+) and K(+). Simultaneous measurement of pairs of ions allowed correlation analysis of two ion types. Notably for H(+) and K(+) data, positive and negative correlation at animal and vegetal poles respectively offer an explanation of the unpredictable results obtained when individual ions were observed independently.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.