A naphthyl analog of the aminostyryl pyridinium class of potentiometric membrane dyes shows consistent sensitivity in a variety of tissue, cell, and model membrane preparations

J Membr Biol. 1992 Oct;130(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/BF00233734.


The fast potentiometric indicator di-4-ANEPPS is examined in four different preparations: lipid vesicles, red blood cells, squid giant axon, and guinea pig heart. The dye gives consistent potentiometric responses in each of these systems, although some of the detailed behavior varies. In lipid vesicles, the dye displays an increase in fluorescence combined with a red shift of the excitation spectrum upon hyperpolarization. Similar behavior is found in red cells where a dual wavelength radiometric measurement is also demonstrated. The signal-to-noise ratio of the potentiometric fluorescence response is among the best ever recorded on the voltage-clamped squid axon. The dye is shown to be a faithful and persistent monitor of cardiac action potentials with no appreciable loss of signal or deterioration of cardiac activity for periods as long as 2 hr with intermittent illumination every 10 min. These results, together with previously published applications of the dye to a spherical lipid bilayer model and to cells in culture, demonstrate the versatility of di-4-ANEPPS as a fast indicator of membrane potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Decapodiformes
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / physiology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Perfusion
  • Pyridinium Compounds*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • 1-(3-sulfonatopropyl)-4-(beta)(2-(di-n-butylamino)-6-naphthylvinyl)pyridinium betaine