Resting "leak" ion channels

Austin So (Hae Jin) haejin at
Wed Oct 27 15:16:01 EST 1999

Since no one but that guy ken collins replied...

"leak" currents are due to things like transporters (in either direction, and
may or may not involve ATP) which generally co-transport ions through the
membrane. But I don't know if it is conclusive that these are the primary
determinants of leak currents though. And yes...ion channels do not "leak".

Any good neurophysiology text should give you good information about them.
Hille's text is probably then best although I remember it being mentioned as an

But it's been a while...

Richard Norman wrote:

> Are the ion channels normally open at rest, and responsible for the "leak"
> currents as well as the resting potential, related to the gated channels
> responsible for action, synaptic, and receptor potentials?
> I always thought not, arguing that all cells have a resting Na, K, and Cl
> permeability but usually not gated channels. Dendrites and axons alike have
> leaks, as do cells neurons that are not electrically excitable at all.
> In looking deeper, I find references to the "fact" that "all ion channels
> are gated", with stable open and closed states.  However, I cannot find any
> specific mention of the channel type that corresponds to the resting leak.

Austin P. So (Hae Jin)

Biotechnology Laboratory
University of British Columbia

E-mail: haejin at (under construction)

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