The importance of potassium in the function of frog semicircular canals.Acta Otolaryngol. 1977 Nov-Dec; 84(5-6):344-51.AO
The slow potentials and afferent discharge of impulses in frog semicircular canals have been studied at different endolymphatic and perilymphatic K+ concentrations. Results indicate that the presence of K ions in the bathing fluids is essential for maintaining the receptor function in crista ampullaris, although very low concentrations of this ion in the perilymph are sufficient to preserve the receptor responsiveness to mechanical stimuli. The hypothesis is put forward that K+ may be pumped from the exterior of the canal towards the intracupular structures, where it accumulates. A K-rich endolymphatic environment does, however, appear to be necessary to ensure the resting activity of ampullar receptors and their ability to be "disfacilitated" during inhibitory cupula deflections.