Calcium is present in all animal cells and is necessary for normal physiologic processes. It aids in maintaining not only a normal osmotic pressure, but, to a greater extent, the proper permeability of the plasma membrane and the proper colloidal state of the cytoplasm. The action of single salts is to destroy the semipermeability of the plasma membrane. The calcium ion decreases permeability, while sodium and potassium ions increase it. This was accurately shown by Osterhout1 and other investigators by measuring the electrical resistance of tissues placed in pure solutions of the chlorides of calcium, potassium and sodium. An increase in electric resistance indicative of a decrease in permeability was brought about by calcium; a decrease in resistance or an increased permeability occurred in the presence of sodium and potassium. Changes in the physical properties of the cytoplasm due to the influence of individual ions have been recently
WENNER WF, NEMOURS PR. THE MUCOSA OF THE MAXILLARY SINUS OF THE RABBIT: THE EFFECT OF ACIDOSIS AND ALKALOSIS ON THE CHANGES IN CILIATED EPITHELIUM AND EOSINOPHILIC INFILTRATION PRODUCED BY CALCIUM PRECIPITATING SUBSTANCES. Arch Otolaryngol. 1932;15(2):270–279. doi:10.1001/archotol.1932.03570030287009
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