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Axonal Excitability Workshop

Antalya, December 2012

A short history of electrotonus and threshold electrotonus Hugh Bostock Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, & MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London


Charles Robert Darwin 1809-1882

1859


Edouard Friedrich Wilhelm Pflüger 1829-1910 Founded Pflüger’s Archiv in 1868

1859


J Anat Physiol 1868

William Rutherford MD FRS (1839-1899) Professor of Physiology, University of Edinburgh


J Anat Physiol 1868

William Rutherford MD FRS (1839-1899) Professor of Physiology, University of Edinburgh


William Rutherford’s demonstration of Electrotonus in 1868


Julius Bernstein (1839-1917) Professor of Physiology, University of Halle

Developed Membrane theory of resting and action potentials (1902)


Electrotonus according to the membrane theory. The phenomena connected with electrotonus result from the movement and accumulation of differently charged ions on both sides of the membrane. The positive ions in the external electrolyte migrate to the anode where they add to the positive ions normally present on the exterior of the membrane‌‌ Bernstein Electrobiologie (1912)

Julius Bernstein (1839-1917) Professor of Physiology, University of Halle

Developed Membrane theory of resting and action potentials (1902)


Augustus Desiré Waller, British neurophysiologist (1856-1922), was the son of Augustus Volney Waller, who described ‘Wallerian degeneration’ in frog nerves in 1850. Augustus Desiré Waller was the first person to systematically approach the heart from an electrical point-of-view. His electrocardiograph machine consisted of a Lippmann capillary electrometer fixed to a projector. The trace from the heartbeat was projected onto a photographic plate which was itself fixed to a toy train. This allowed a heartbeat to be recorded in real time. (J. Physiol., 1887) In 1911 he still saw little clinical application for his work.

Augustus Desiré Waller (1856-1922)


Augustus DesirĂŠ Waller (1856-1922)

Augustus Waller’s Royal Institution Lectures of 1897


*

* i.e. Pfluger’s laws of electrotonus


Augustus Waller’s demonstration of Pflüger’s Laws in 1882


Joseph Erlanger 1874 – 1965

Herbert Spencer Gasser 1888 – 1963

Erlanger and Gasser shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1944


Joseph Erlanger 1874 – 1965 Joseph Erlanger shared the 1944 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Herbert Gasser


STUDIES FROM

THE ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH VOLUME 131

A Study of Nerve Physiology Rafael Lorente de No

NEW YORK THE ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

Rafael Lorente de N贸 1902 - 1990

1947 Made in the United States of America


Electrotonus in frog sciatic nerve, showing contrasting responses to depolarising currents (1-4) and hyperpolarising current (5-8).

Rafael Lorente de N贸 1902 - 1990

Lorente de No: A study of nerve physiology, 1947


Threshold reduction (%)

0

-200

-400 0

100

200 Delay (ms)

300

(Tomlinson et al, 2009)

(Lorente de No, 1947)

(Baker & Bostock, 1988)

400



HB03 A short history of electrotonus and TE