Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 409, Issue 6, pp 582–588 | Cite as

Changes of membrane currents in cardiac cells induced by long whole-cell recordings and tolbutamide

  • B. Belles
  • J. Hescheler
  • G. Trube
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Single isolated myocytes were obtained from the ventricles of adult guinea pig hearts. The whole-cell recording configuration of the patch-clamp technique was used to measure membrane currents. A decrease (run-down) of the Ca2+ inward current and an increase of a time-independent K+ outward current were observed during long lasting (1–3 h) recordings. The time at which the outward current developed depended on the intracellular ATP concentration in the pipette, suggesting that this current is identical to the ATP-dependent K+ current described by Noma and Shibasaki (1985). However, the maximum outward current reached in the experiments was independent of the ATP concentration indicating a limited diffusion of ATP in the cell interior. In single-channel experiments on isolated patches of cell membrane and in whole-cell recordings the ATP-dependent K+ current could be blocked by the hypoglycaemic sulphonylurea tolbutamide. The IC50 of 0.38 mM was about 50 times higher than that reported for pancreatic β-cells (Trube et al. 1986). The Ca2+ inward current and the inwardly retifying K+ current were not affected by tolbutamide (3 mM).

Key words

Cardiac myocytes Ca2+ current ATP-dependent K+ current Run-down ATP Tolbutamide 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Belles
    • 1
  • J. Hescheler
    • 1
  • G. Trube
    • 2
  1. 1.II. Physiologisches InstitutUniversität des SaarlandesHomburg/SaarGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenGermany

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