, Volume 20, Issue 5-6, pp 489-496

Endothermic force generation in skinned cardiac muscle from rat

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Abstract

Isometric tension responses to rapid temperature jumps (T-jumps) of 2–6°C were examined in skinned muscle fibre bundles isolated from papillary muscles of the rat heart. T-jumps were induced by an infra-red laser pulse (wave length 1.32 μm, pulse duration 0.2 ms) obtained from a Nd-YAG laser, which heated the fibres and bathing buffer solution in a 50 μl trough; the increased temperature by laser pulse was clamped at the high temperature by a Peltier system (see Ranatunga, 1996). In maximally Ca2+-activated (pCa ca. 4.5) fibres, the relationship between tension and temperature was non-linear, the increase of active tension with temperature being more pronounced at lower temperatures (below ca. 20°C). A T-jump at any temperature (range 3–35°C) induced an initial step decrease of tension of variable amplitude (Phase 1), probably due to thermal expansion, and it was followed by a tension transient which resulted in a net rise of tension above the pre-T-jump level. The rate of net rise of tension (Phase 2b or endothermic force generation) was 7–10/s at ca. 12°C and its Q10 was 6.3 (below 25°C). In cases where the step decrease of tension in Phase 1 was prominent, an initial quick tension recovery phase (Phase 2a, 70–100/s at 12°C) that did not contribute to a rise of tension above the pre-T-jump level, was also seen. This phase (Phase 2a) appeared to be similar to the quick tension recovery induced by a small length release and its rate increased with temperature with a Q10 of 1.8. In some cases where Phase 2a was present, a slower tension rise (Phase 3) was seen; its rate (ca. 5/s) was temperature-insensitive. The results show that the rate of endothermic force generation in cardiac fibres is clearly different from that of either fast-twitch or slow-twitch mammalian skeletal muscle fibres; implication of such fibre type-specific differences is discussed in relation to the difficulty in identifying the biochemical step underlying endothermic cross-bridge force generation.