Potassium ion current in the squid giant axon: dynamic characteristic

Biophys J. 1960 Sep;1(1):1-14. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3495(60)86871-3.


Measurements of the potassium current in the squid axon membrane have been made, after changes of the membrane potential to the sodium potential of Hodgkin and Huxley (HH), from near the resting potential, from depolarizations of various durations and amplitudes, and from hyperpolarizations of up to 150 mv. The potassium currents I given by I = I(infinity) {1 - exp [- (t + t(0))/tau]}(25), where t(0) is determined by the initial conditions, represent the new data and approximate the HH functions in the regions for which they are adequate. A corresponding modification for the sodium current does not appear necessary. The results support the HH assumptions of the independence of the potassium and sodium currents, the dependence of the potassium current upon a single parameter determined by the membrane potential, and the expression of this parameter by a first order differential equation, and, although the results drastically modify the analytical expressions, they very considerably extend the range of apparent validity of these assumptions. The delay in the potassium current after severe hyperpolarization is used to estimate a potassium ion mobility in the membrane as 10(-5) of its value in aqueous solutions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons*
  • Decapodiformes*
  • Ion Transport*
  • Ions*
  • Membrane Potentials*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Sodium*


  • Ions
  • Sodium
  • Potassium