A Caltech Library Service

From behavior to membranes: Testosterone-induced changes in action potential duration in electric organs

Bass, Andrew H. and Volman, Susan F. (1987) From behavior to membranes: Testosterone-induced changes in action potential duration in electric organs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 84 (24). pp. 9295-9298. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC299740. doi:10.1073/pnas.84.24.9295.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The electric organ of mormyrid fishes consists of action potential-generating cells called electrocytes, which together produce a pulse-like electric organ discharge (EOD). The appearance of an EOD depends, in part, on the characteristic features of a single electrocyte's action potentials. In some species, gonadal steroid hormones induce increases in EOD duration, which mimic natural sex differences. We now show that testosterone-induced changes in EOD duration are associated with a 2- to 3-fold increase in the duration of action potentials generated by single electrocytes. Together with other anatomical and biochemical data, the results emphasize the exquisite interrelationship between steroid hormone action and the cellular machinery determining the electrical properties of single cells that underlie sexually dimorphic and seasonal behaviors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Additional Information:© 1987 National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by Masakazu Konishi, August 27, 1987. The authors' names appear alphabetically. Thanks to the Diagnostics Laboratory, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (Ithaca, NY) for performing the radioimmunoassays; R. Hoy, R. Capranica, and A. Cohen· for equipment; M. Marchaterre, U. Haerter, and C. Carr for technical help and advice; M. Marchaterre and W. Sussdorf for the illustrations; and M. V. L. Bennett, T. Bartol, C. Carr, R. Hoy, B. Land, D. Wetzel, and D. Yager for helpful comments. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Research Grant NS19942 to A.H.B. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:sexual dimorphism; steroid hormones; electrocytes
Issue or Number:24
PubMed Central ID:PMC299740
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120622-080655451
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:A H Bass and S F Volman From behavior to membranes: testosterone-induced changes in action potential duration in electric organs PNAS 1987 84 (24) 9295-9298
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32023
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 Jun 2012 15:22
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 20:03

Repository Staff Only: item control page