Electric correlation potentials in the mantle of Anadonta



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The theory that normal bioelectric potentials of cells function as correlation mechanisms in tissue has been advanced (1). Evidence for this, on the basis of the algebraic summation of the E. M. F. (voltage) of cellular potentials in the onion root (2), (6), Bryophyllum leaves (3), and Douglas fir (4), has been given. The theory that bioelectric potentials arise from oxidation-reduction systems within the cells was also advanced (5), and strong evidence for its validity was given by Lund and his co-workers in a long series of experiments. The object of the following experiments was, in brief, to determine whether or not, correlation potentials exist in such a simple system as the mussel's mantle, and if so, to investigate their origin. The theory of summation is, that the E. M. F. of each cell of a tissue in a circuit sums algebraically with that of adjacent cells to give the total P. D. (potential difference) between any two points. In other words, each cell acts as a small battery and tissues act electrically as if they were made up of small battery units connected in series-parallel. Heretofore no absolute proof of summation between two adjacent cells has been presented. Summation has been shown to exist between one group of cells and an adjacent group and cellular summation has been implied. The experimental advantage over other tissues, offered by the mantle in this respect will be seen below. [...] The mussel's mantle was selected because of its simplicity of structure, which made it beautifully adapted to the study of the phenomena under consideration. The mantle is an epithelial membrane consisting of two single layers of cells, as shown in diagram Ia, connected by loose, areolar connective tissue. The potentials between the two layers at opposite points amounts in effect to that between two cells connected in series. When the material is properly set up this condition holds experimentally (Diagram Ib)