Influence of potassium ions and osmolality on the resting membrane potential of rabbit ventricular papillary muscle with estimation of the activity and the activity coefficient of internal potassium.
Resting membrane potentials of rabbit right ventricular papillary muscles were measured in modified Tyrode's solutions that were isotonic (1.0 X T), hypertonic (1.58 X T), or hypotonic (0.76 X T) at eight different concentrations of external potassium, [K]o, ranging from 0.78 to 100 mM. The amount of hyperpolarization produced by exposure to the hypertonic solutions was relatively constant with an average of 4.6 mv at all levels of [K]o except 0.78 and 1.56 mM. This potential change is much less than the 10.6 mv which would be predicted if the papillary muscles behaved as nearly perfect osmometers and the activity coefficient of intracellular potassium (K) remained constant. The amount of depolarization produced by exposure to the 0.76 X T hypotonic solutions averaged 6.8 mv at all levels of [K]o except 0.78 mM; this value is close to the predicted value of 6.9 mv. Variations in the activity and the activity coefficient of intracellular K were introduced to explain these discrepancies. We estimated that the activity of intracellular K in 1.58 X T hypertonic solution was increased 15-23% compared with that in isotonic solution. This change is much less than the 58% that would be predicted if the papillary muscle behaved as a nearly perfect osmometer. We also estimated that the activity of intracellular K in 0.76 X T hypotonic solution fell 22-26%, which is very close to the predicted value of 24%. The activity coefficient of intracellular K appeared to fall in 1.58 X T hypertonic solution to about 0.76 of its value in isotonic solution. This decline in the estimated activity coefficient of intracellular K could not be attributed to an increase in Coulombic attractive and repulsive forces as predicted by the Debye-Hückel equation for a univalent electrolyte.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association