The cell membrane potential (PD) of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells was measured continuously at 37 degrees C with conventional microelectrodes during rapid alterations of extracellular fluid composition. At extracellular electrolyte composition mimicking the in vivo situation PD is -56.7 +/- 0.7 mV and the apparent membrane resistance is 62.2 +/- 2.2 M omega. Increasing extracellular potassium concentration from 5.4 to 20.0 mmol/l depolarizes the cell membrane by +18.4 +/- 0.5 mV. Thus, the transference number for potassium (tk, apparent slope potassium conductance over slope membrane conductance) is 0.53 +/- 0.01. A significant correlation is observed between tk and PD: tk = -(0.014 +/- 0.001) [1/mV] X PD [mV] -(0.243 +/- 0.051). 0.7 mmol/l barium depolarizes the cell membrane by +28.2 +/- 0.7 mV, increases the apparent membrane resistance by a factor of 2.6 +/- 0.1 and abolishes the apparent potassium conductance. Reduction of extracellular sodium concentration from 141 to 21 mmol/l depolarizes the cell membrane by +3.1 +/- 1.3 mV. Similarly, 0.1 mmol/l amiloride depolarizes the cell membrane by +3.3 +/- 0.7 mV. Reduction of extracellular chloride concentration from 128 to 67 mmol/l hyperpolarizes the cell membrane by -2.5 +/- 0.2 mV. 1 mmol/l anthracene-9-COOH does not significantly alter PD. Temporary omission of glucose from the extracellular fluid has no appreciable effect on PD. In conclusion, PD of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells is in the range of other mammalian epithelial cells and is generated mainly by potassium diffusion, while the conductances to sodium and chloride appear to be small.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Carcinoma, Ehrlich Tumor/physiopathology*