The effects of lyotropic anions on electric field-induced guidance of cultured frog nerves

Lynda Erskine, Colin Darnley McCaig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


1. Dissociated Xenopus neurites turn cathodally in small applied electric fields. Increasing the external polycation concentration alters the direction and extent of field-induced orientation. A decrease in membrane surface charge may underlie these effects. 2. Lyotropic anions increase membrane surface charge and we have examined the effect of perchlorate (ClO4-), thiocyanate (SCN-) and sulphate (SO4(2-)) on galvanic nerve orientation. 3. Perchlorate and SCN- had no effect on field-induced cathodal turning, whereas incubation with SO4(2-) was inhibitory. In addition to its effects on surface charge, SO4(2-) increases production of the second messengers diacylglycerol and inositol trisphosphate. Interestingly, lithium (Li+), a blocker of polyphosphoinositide metabolism, had a similar effect to SO4(2-) on field-induced neurite orientation. 4. We conclude that increasing surface charge with lyotropic anions neither enhances galvanotropic orientation nor underlies the inhibitory effects of SO4(2-) and suggest that modulation of galvanotropism by SO4(2-) occurs owing to changes in the inositolphospholipid second messenger system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1995


  • Animals
  • Anions
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Lithium
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Neurites
  • Neurons
  • Perchloric Acid
  • Sulfates
  • Thiocyanates
  • Xenopus laevis


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