The effects of removing extracellular Ca++ ions or of adding the organic calcium channel antagonist, nitrendipine, were tested on twitches and tetani (100 Hz for 2 sec) in frog toe muscles. Under conditions that did not reduce or that potentiated twitches, both procedures reduced the size of the tetanic responses. This depression was seen as an inability to maintain the maximum tetanic tension for more than 0.5 sec. Intracellular microelectrode recordings showed that the muscle fibers were depolarized (mean about 23 mV) during the stimulus train and the fiber only slowly repolarized after the train. The latter effect is the ''late negative afterpotential'' and it is produced by the accumulation of K+ ions in the t-tubules during the action potential train. Neither the depolarization nor the late negative afterpotentials were decreased in amplitude by nitrendipine. These results indicate that the voltage-sensitive, slow Ca++ channels are opened by the accumulation of K+ ions in the t-tubules during the tetanus and that the Ca++ ions entering via these channels are required to maintain the full strength of the tetanic contraction. It is suggested that this is a function of these Ca++ channels concentrated in the t-tubules of skeletal muscle fibers.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 21 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine