Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 322, Issue 4, pp 287–303 | Cite as

Norepinephrine and potassium fluxes in cardiac Purkinje fibers

  • M. Vassalle
  • O. Barnabei


Dog ventricular Purkinje fibers, loaded with42K, were mounted in a tissue bath located over a beta-detector and washed in Tyrode solution. Tissue radioactivity was measured at intervals and transmembrane potential recorded by means of microelectrodes. Relative potassium influx was estimated by re-exposing the fiber to radioactive solution for fixed periods and measuring the tissue radio-activity increase at the end of the uptake period. Potassium efflux was estimated by measuring tissue and effluent radioactivities. After control recordings, administration of norepinephrine caused the following changes during the period it was applied: 1. increase in potassium influx; 2. increase in potassium efflux in nonstimulated fibers; 3. a smaller increase in potassium efflux in fibers stimulated electrically at a constant rate; 4. increase in potassium content in fibers loaded to equilibrium with42K; 5. a smaller increase in K uptake in fibers driven at a high rate; and 6. enhancement of potassium uptake even in the presence of high [K]0. It is concluded that norepinephrine increases both influx and efflux in Purkinje fibers. The larger enhancement of the influx with respect to the efflux and the increase in potassium content suggests that norepinephrine stimulates active transport of potassium. This stimulatory action can be dissociated from the stimulation of automaticity.

Key words

Purkinje Fibers Norepinephrine Potassium Exchange Active Transport Automaticity 


Purkinje Faser Noradrenalin Kalium-Austausch Aktiver Transport Spontanaktivität 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vassalle
    • 1
  • O. Barnabei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Downstate Medical CenterState University of New YorkBrooklyn

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