Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 375, Issue 1, pp 69–73 | Cite as

Transient tension responses of voltage-clamped frog atrial muscle related to sudden changes in external Ca or Na

  • H. M. Einwächter
  • G. Brommundt
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology


Frog atrial muscle strips were placed in a double sucrose gap chamber and perfusion of the central node was arranged as to allow rapid changes of external Ca or Na concentration during long-lasting (15s) depolarizing clamps. When the superfusing fluid was suddenly switched, the intercellular space inside the fibre bundle equilibrated with a time constant in the order of 1 s. A fast change of perfusate during clamp was followed by a delayed change of tonic (sustained) contraction. When [Ca]0 was increased from 0.25 to 4 mM, tension rose in a sigmoid manner and the level reached at the end of the clamp was almost identical with the steady control in 4 mM-Ca-Ringer. A similar tension increase occurred upon a reduction of [Na]0 from 100 to 25% of normal. At a given depolarization time course and height of the tension responses followed the ratio of [Ca]0/[Na] 0 2 . Transient tension responses are interpreted in terms of a sudden perturbation of a transmembrane Ca−Na exchange system leading to a depression of Ca pumping activity.

Key words

Ca−Na exchange Voltage clamp Frog atrial muscle Tonic contraction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. Einwächter
    • 1
  • G. Brommundt
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches Institut II der Universität BonnBonnFederal Republic of Germany

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