Action potentials in chick atria. Ontogenetic changes in the dependence of tetrodotoxin-resistant action potentials on calcium, strontium, barium.
Action potentials were recorded from chick embryo atrial muscle cells bathed in Tyrode's solution. Tetrodotoxin (TTX), 3.1 muM, was added to block the early, transient, Na+-dependent conductance system. Rectangular stimuli were used to evoke action potentials the peak amplitude (Ep) of which depend on the external concentration of divalent cations, [Me2+]0. The relationship between Ep and [Me2+]0 shifted to the right with increasing age. For example, the slope of Ep was 33 +/- 2,22 +/- 1 and 11 +/- 3 mV per 10-fold change in [Ca2+]0 on the 9th, 12th, and 18th incubation days, respectively. In solutions with reduced [Ca2+]0, Ep increased when Ba2+ or Sr2+ was added to the bath. The potency of Me2+ in generating action potentials was Ba2+ greater than Sr2+ greater than Ca2+ and this sequence did not change during development. Action potential amplitude, which was reduced in 18-day preparations, was increased by isoproterenol (increased Ca2+ conductance, gCa2+) and by tetraethylammonium (TEA) ion (decreased K+ conductance, gK). The results show that (1) Me2+-dependent action potentials support membrane excitation in chick atrial cells treated with TTX, and (2) the ability of Me2+ to support action potentials decreases during ontogenesis. We conclude from these experiments that the ontogenetically related decrease in Me2+-induced action potentials is the result of a reduction in gMe2+/gK+ during stimulation.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association