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Title: An analysis of the relationship between cell volume and resting membrane potential in frog skeletal muscle
Author: Fraser, J. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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The fundamental cellular parameters of cell volume (Vc) and resting membrane potential (Em) profoundly influence cellular, tissue, organ and whole-body physiology. Earlier work has identified a wide range of mechanisms that maintain, regulate, or otherwise influence the values of each parameter individually. However, both Vc and Em change during normal activity in skeletal muscle, and their resting values are interdependent. New quantitative theoretical and experimental techniques were developed to permit an investigation of the interrelationships between Vc and Em, in order to study the determination, maintenance and short-term regulation of each parameter in skeletal muscle. Thus a cellular model was developed that permitted accurate theoretical analysis of the influences upon both Vc and Em of the diverse mechanisms known to maintain and regulate Vc, and a laser-confocal microscope technique was developed for the dynamic measurement of Vc in viable whole-muscle preparations. These new approaches were used together with standard techniques of Em and intracellular pH measurement to perform a quantitative analysis of Vc and Em control in skeletal muscles under a variety of conditions, including variations in extracellular similarity and intracellular pH. The experimental findings provided strong support for the novel cellular model and thus permitted the development of a full theory unifying the concepts of Vc determination, maintenance, and short-term regulation with those of Em control, including a precise definition of the role of the Na+/K+-ATPase in these processes. This theory has important implications for the understanding both of cellular function and of whole-organism physiology, and provides a robust theoretical framework within which future research may be undertaken.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available