The membrane capacity of mammalian skeletal muscle fibres

J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 1984 Jun;5(3):315-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00713110.


Membrane capacity was measured as a function of fibre diameter in mammalian skeletal muscle fibres under normal conditions and under conditions designed to reduce the membrane chloride conductance, i.e. in solutions in which chloride ions were replaced by sulphate or methylsulphate ions, or in normal Krebs solutions containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2.5 mM). The experiments were done on rat sternomastoid, extensor digitorum longus and soleus muscle fibres. The average membrane capacity of fibres in each muscle was greater than normal when chloride conductance was reduced and the slope of the relationship between membrane capacity and fibre diameter increased. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that the space constant of the transverse tubule system in mammalian fibres is normally short because the transverse tubule membrane has a high chloride conductance. The experimental results imply that the space constant of the transverse tubule system was less than 40 microns for fibres in normal Krebs solution and greater than 100 microns for fibres with low membrane chloride conductance. The space constant was calculated using measured geometrical parameters of the transverse tubule, and measured membrane conductance, and the values were close to 20 microns for fibres in normal Krebs solution and between 50 and 120 microns for fibres with low chloride conductance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Chlorides / metabolism
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electrophysiology
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Sarcolemma / metabolism
  • Sarcolemma / physiology
  • Sarcolemma / ultrastructure*
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters / metabolism


  • Chlorides
  • Sulfuric Acid Esters
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
  • methyl sulfate