Possible Sources and Sinks of Activator Calcium

  • Donald M. Bers
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 122)


In order to consider the potential sources of Ca which could, in principle, contribute to the activation of myofilaments, we must first consider how much Ca is required. The Ca binding of the cardiac myofilaments and of homogenized ventricular muscle were measured by Solaro et al. (1974) and Pierce et al. (1985), respectively. Fabiato (1983) also calculated the buffering capacity based on many estimates of the Ca buffering site concentrations and affinities (e.g. for troponin C, calmodulin, phosphocreatine, ATP, outer SR surface, and the inner sarcolemmal surface). The results of these measurements and calculations are shown in Figure 19 (in units of µmol Ca/kg wet wt.). To convert these values to the units of µmol/liter cell water (excluding mitochondrial space), the values can simply be multiplied by 2.509 (Fabiato, 1983). Fabiato’s curve is higher than the data of Solaro et al. (1974), as would be expected due to the consideration of additional cellular buffers. Fabiato’s curve is lower than the data of Pierce et al. (1985). This might also be expected since Pierce et al. (1985) measured buffering in whole homogenate which may include additional sites, both appropriately (i.e. intracellular sites not included by Fabiato, 1983) and inappropriately (e.g. extracellular sites and non-myocyte sites). It may also be noted that the values from Pierce et al. (1985) are differences in total Ca based on an unknown basal amount bound at 0.25 µM Ca, taken as 0. Since this basal number is near diastolic [Ca] and we are mostly interested in changes in bound Ca associated with increases in [Ca] and activation, this per se is not a serious limitation.


Sarcolemmal Vesicle Cardiac Relaxation Cardiac Myofilament Mammalian Cardiac Muscle Sarcolemmal Protein 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald M. Bers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyLoyola University Medical SchoolMaywoodUSA

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