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How to affect action potential

  1. Feb 15, 2011 #1
    If there a way to affect the action potential propagation across neurons, for better or worse?
    The organism I have in mind is planaria (flat worm) as they are very simple but can be conditioned (like the Pavlovian dog). I don't think that a non-harmful liquid chemical could have much effect, but is there another way, such as having a source of electricity near them? That's a stupid example, but I think you understand what I mean (I hope). Is there a way I could somehow inhibit the sodium potassium pumps, or the channels?

    EDIT: I'm just thinking... Would temperature have much of an effect? Proteins work slower under lower temperatures, don't they?
    Also, how many watts/volts/amps of an electrical current could they take? Would it matter?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2011 #2
    I dont know anything specifically about planaria in regard to the resting potential of their neurons, but I'm guessing it's on the order of milli-Volts.
    Voltage clamping is one technique that is exactly the kind of electrical stimulus you're talking about, or what I think you are trying to say. I'm not sure if it would be feasible in vivo, but micro electrodes are used to influence the cell potential, inducing an action potential with depolarization, or inhibition with hyperpolarization, or just observation.
    I also found this
    which might or might not be relevant to you
  4. Feb 16, 2011 #3
    use oubain to inhibit the Na K ATPase activity

    or a Na channel blocker like lidocaine

    what are you trying to achieve?
  5. Feb 16, 2011 #4


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