Sarcolemmal sodium permeability and contractile force of guinea pig papillary muscle: effects of germitrine.
The action potential of guinea pig papillary muscle exposed to the ceveratrum alkaloid germitrine (2 mugM) is followed by a long-lasting after-depolarization (maximal amplitude, 8 mV; half-time of decay, 32 seconds; total duration, approximately 75 seconds). This after-depolarization interrupts the terminal phase of repolarization. During repetitive stimulation (0.1-1.0 Hz; 80 nM germitrine) the after-depolarizations that follow consecutive action potentials are summed, causing persistent depolarization of up to 10 mV. The after-depolarization is reversibly abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX). Test contractions evoked at various times during or after the germitrine-induced after-depolarization reveal a phase during which the ability of the muscle to develop force is transiently increased. This positive inotropic influence reaches its maximum 1 minute after the conditioning stimulus and thereafter decays with a half-time 4.8 times longer than the half-time of decay of the after depolarization. It is reversibly abolished by TTX and augmented by dihydro-ouabain (DHO). We conclude: Germitrine induces an after-depolarization by prolonging dramatically the Na permeability component which is mediated by the fast Na channels and normally restricted to the first few milliseconds of the action potential. The germitrine-induced selective and persistent increase of sarcolemmal sodium permeability (PNA) causes a positive inotropic effect, probably because intracellularly accumulating Na ions exchange for extracellular Ca ions.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association