Effects of calcium on shortening velocity in frog chemically skinned atrial myocytes and in mechanically disrupted ventricular myocardium from rat.
Effects of [Ca2+] on isometric tension and unloaded shortening velocity were characterized in single chemically skinned myocytes from frog atrium and in mechanically disrupted myocardium from rat ventricle. The preparations were attached to a force transducer and piezoelectric translator and were viewed with an inverted microscope to allow continuous monitoring of sarcomere length during mechanical measurements. Unloaded shortening velocity was determined by measuring the time required to take up various amounts of slack imposed at one end of each preparation. Ca2+ sensitivity of isometric tension was assessed as pCa50, i.e., the Ca2+ concentration at which tension was 50% maximal, and was greater for frog atrial myocytes (pCa50 6.17) than for rat ventricular myocytes (pCa50 6.06). This difference in Ca2+ sensitivity may be due to variations in myofibrillar protein isoform composition in the two preparations. Inclusion of caffeine in the activating solutions substantially increased the Ca2+ sensitivity of tension, which may be a manifestation of a direct effect of caffeine on the myofibrillar proteins. Unloaded shortening velocity during maximal activation averaged 4.32 muscle lengths per second in frog atrial myocytes and 4.46 muscle lengths per second in rat ventricular myocytes. When [Ca2+] was reduced, unloaded shortening velocity decreased substantially in both preparations. Possible mechanisms for the effect of Ca2+ on shortening velocity in myocardium include Ca2+ dependence of the rate of ADP dissociation from actomyosin complexes or a shortening-dependent internal load involving structures such as C protein or long-lived myosin cross-bridges.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association