Effect of Strychnine upon the Electrical Activity of an Isolated Nerve Cell

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Science  03 Feb 1961:
Vol. 133, Issue 3449, pp. 333-334
DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3449.333


The effect of strychnine upon the electrical activity recorded from the axon and the soma of an isolated nerve cell (the nonadapting stretch receptor cell of the crayfish) was studied. Protracted exposure of the soma of the cell to strychnine prolongs the duration of the intracellulary recorded action potential, as has been described in other excitable tissues treated with quaternary ammonium ions. During the plateau in the falling phase of the soma spike, the axon is usually firing repetitively. The stimulation of the inhibitory fiber produces a premature termination of the prolonged spike.