The change in the membrane potential of Jurkat cells in response to nanosecond pulsed electric fields was studied for pulses with a duration of 60 ns and maximum field strengths of ∼100 kV/cm (100 V/cell diameter). Membranes of Jurkat cells were stained with a fast voltage-sensitive dye, ANNINE-6, which has a subnanosecond voltage response time. A temporal resolution of 5 ns was achieved by the excitation of this dye with a tunable laser pulse. The laser pulse was synchronized with the applied electric field to record images at times before, during, and after exposure. When exposing the Jurkat cells to a pulse, the voltage across the membrane at the anodic pole of the cell reached values of 1.6 V after 15 ns, almost twice the voltage level generally required for electroporation. Voltages across the membrane on the side facing the cathode reached values of only 0.6 V in the same time period, indicating a strong asymmetry in conduction mechanisms in the membranes of the two opposite cell hemispheres. This small voltage drop of 0.6-1.6 V across the plasma membrane demonstrates that nearly the entire imposed electric .eld of 10 V/μm penetrates into the interior of the cell and every organelle.