Investigating The Ionic Basis Of The Neuron 's Resting Membrane Potential ( Vm )

1740 Words Oct 30th, 2016 7 Pages
The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the ionic basis of the neuron’s resting membrane potential (Vm). We examine how this potential is affected by potassium ion [K+] concentration and permeability using Orconectes rusticus crayfish abdominal muscles, and we ask whether or not the Nernst Equation solely based on [K+] can also predict the cell’s resting membrane potential. We predicted that [K+] concentration had a significant influence on the membrane potential and thus the Nernst Equation was an accurate predictor of the observed Vm changes. Our results indicate that our hypothesis was incorrect- the results indicate that the Nernst equation calculations did not correspond with the observed resting membrane potentials. This outcome suggest that the Nernst derived equilibrium potential of [K+] is not a reliable predictor of the neuron’s resting membrane potential, and therefore other ions have significant influence over setting this potential. The GHK model, which accounts for multiple ions, may be a more accurate predictor of the resting membrane potential.
Introduction:
Neurons are unique signal, sending cells with special components specific to their roles in facilitating communication throughout an entire organism. They do this essential work by generating a constant exchange of ions across the cell membrane. The more we understand this process, the better we can investigate issues like brain-based disease and treatment. In order to understand exactly how this…

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