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Auto-oscillations of Skinned Myocardium Correlating with Heartbeat


Skinned myocardium (or myofibrils) exhibits auto-oscillations of sarcomere length and developed force called SPOC (SPontaneousOscillatoryContraction) under partial activation conditions. In SPOC, each sarcomere repeats the cycle of slow shortening and rapid lengthening, and the lengthening phase propagates sequentially to the adjacent sarcomeres in waves (SPOC wave). In this study, we analyzed the sarcomeric oscillation in SPOC in skinned myocardium of various animal species (rat, rabbit, dog, pig, and cow) with different heart rates. The period of oscillation, the sarcomere shortening velocity, and the velocity of SPOC wave, strongly correlated with the resting heart rate of the animal species. The shortening velocity in particular was proportional to the resting heart rate. We then examined the motile activity of each cardiac myosin by an in vitro motility assay. The sliding velocity of actin filaments, which is an index of the motile activity of myosin, also correlated with the resting heart rate but the relationship was not proportional. As a result, the ratio of sarcomere shortening velocity in SPOC to the sliding velocity of actin filaments was not constant but became higher with a higher heart rate. This suggests that the sarcomere shortening velocity in SPOC is modulated by some additional factors besides the motile activity of myosin, resulting in the proportional relationship between the shortening velocity of the sarcomere and the resting heart rate.

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Correspondence to Shin’ichi Ishiwata.

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Sasaki, D., Fujita, H., Fukuda, N. et al. Auto-oscillations of Skinned Myocardium Correlating with Heartbeat. J Muscle Res Cell Motil 26, 93–101 (2005).

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  • Heart Rate
  • Activation Condition
  • Animal Species
  • Actin Filament
  • Partial Activation