Potassium influx in the frog atrium during the cardiac cycle.
A method for measuring inwardly directed transmembrane tracer flow during the cardiac cycle was developed and applied to a study of 42K influx in frog atrial trabeculae. A fine frog atrial fiber was suspended in a stream of nonisotopic perfusate into which a smaller tracer-containing bolus could be injected, subjecting the fiber to a brief, controlled exposure to the tracer at any desired point in the cardiac cycle. In an experiment, the tissue was exposed to a fixed number of radioactive pulses at a selected point in the cardiac cycle; a brief flush with nonradioactive perfusate removed ambient and extracellular label and an extended wash and removed the remaining intracellular tracer for radioassay. The same procedure was repeated at different points in the cycle, and the resulting tracer uptake at each point measured the relative influx of the particular ion. In this way, a characteristic and reproducible 42K influx profile was demonstrated which exhibited a marked drop below diastolic values during the first 500 msec or so of the action potential followed by a rise and an overshoot above resting values. The time of return to the resting level was somewhat uncertain but was tentatively placed in the vicinity of rapid repolarization. We suggest that the rise and the overshoot reflect the activity of the membrane Na+, K+-adenosinetriphosphatase.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association