Generation of resting membrane potential

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


This brief review is intended to serve as a refresher on the ideas associated with teaching students the physiological basis of the resting membrane potential. The presentation is targeted toward first-year medical students, first-year graduate students, or senior undergraduates. The emphasis is on general concepts associated with generation of the electrical potential difference that exists across the plasma membrane of every animal cell. The intention is to provide students a general view of the quantitative relationship that exists between 1) transmembrane gradients for K+ and Na+ and 2) the relative channel-mediated permeability of the membrane to these ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-142
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Electrical potential difference
  • Goldman equation
  • Nernst equation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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