The linear circuit parameters of 140 muscle fibers in nine solutions are determined from phase measurements fitted with three circuit models: the disk model, in which the resistance to radial current flow is in the lumen of the tubules; the lumped model, in which the resistance is at the mouth of the tubules; and the hybrid model, in which it is in both places. The lumped model fails to fit the data. The disk and hybrid model fit the data, but the optimal circuit values of the hybrid model seem more reasonable. The circuit values depend on sarcomere length. The conductivity of the lumen of the tubules is less than, and varies in a nonlinear manner with, the conductivity of the bathing solution, suggesting that the tubules are partially occluded by some material like basement membrane which restricts the mobility of ions and has fixed charge. The x2.5 hypertonic sucrose solution used in many voltage clamp experiments produces a large increase in the radial resistance, suggesting that control of the potential across the tubular membranes would be difficult to achieve. Glycerol-treated fibers have 90% of their tubular system insulated from the extracellular solution and 10% connected to the extracellular solution through a high resistance. We discuss the implications of our results for calculations of the nonlinear properties of muscle fibers, including the action potential and the radial spread of contraction.

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