The alleged effect of electrical stimulation on the metabolism of red cell suspensions

Ponder, Eric, MacLeod, John (November 1935) The alleged effect of electrical stimulation on the metabolism of red cell suspensions. J Gen Physiol., 19 (2). pp. 265-281.



The apparent increase in the rate of O2 consumption described when an alternating current, or induction coil current, is passed through a red cell suspension (in a buffered NaCl solution) is not a metabolic effect in any sense of the word. The passage of the current results in a permanent volume decrease in the system, and it is this which has been erroneously interpreted as an "increase in the rate of O2 consumption." Its magnitude is about 1 part in 1000. The utilization of O2 is not involved at all, and the same effect is obtained, on a somewhat smaller scale, when the current is passed through a solution of NaCl or of the other halogen salts. The effects occur only with shiny platinum electrodes, and disappear entirely when the electrodes are platinized. Passage of the current through serum, on the other hand, results in a permanent increase in the volume of the system, this effect also disappearing on platinization of the electrodes. The effects are apparently related to obscure electrode phenomena.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: Investigative techniques and equipment
CSHL Authors:
Communities: The Biological Laboratory
Depositing User: Elizabeth Pessala
Date: 20 November 1935
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 16:55
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 16:55
PMCID: PMC2141438

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