Relative roles of Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+ and Mg2+ in controlling lens permeability characteristics

N. A. Delamere, C. A. Paterson, G. Duncan, D. L. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The effects of barium, strontium and magnesium upon lens permeability characteristics were studied in the presence and absence of 2 mM calcium in the bathing medium. Permeability characteristics were determined by measuring lens potential, resistance and 42K efflux rates. Barium and strontium at equimolar concentrations to calcium were able to substitute for calcium in controlling lens sodium permeability. Magnesium was ineffective in this respect. Small changes in resistance and 42K efflux rates occurred when calcium was eliminated from bathing solution containing either 2 mM barium or strontium. These changes were interpreted to be the result of an increase in lens permeability to potassium. When 2 mM strontium was added to calcium-containing solution, there was no significant change in the electrical or flux parameters of the lens. However, the addition of 2 mM barium to calcium-containing solution resulted in a 54% increase in lens resistance and a 13 mV depolarization. These observations indicated a barium-induced decrease in lens permeability to potassium, and this was confirmed by an observed decrease in 42K efflux rate constant under similar experimental conditions. The rapid time course of all the observed changes implies that they are the result of changes in the permeability characteristics of membranes lying close to the surface of the lens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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