Changes in the functioning of the electromechanical connection during tetanic contraction
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The functioning of the electromechanical connection during tetanic contraction in frog skeletal muscle was studied. Analysis using caffeine, calcium-free medium, the ryanodine receptor blocker dantrolene, and the Ca-ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin showed that the initial increase in tetanus, as in twitch contractions, did not require the presence of calcium ions in the surrounding medium, which is in agreement with published data. Contraction was accompanied by activation of potential-dependent release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, the secondary rise phase and/or the duration of the tetanus plateau were critically dependent on the present of Ca2+ in the surrounding medium. Given that contraction in this situation was inhibited by dantrolene, activation of prolonged contraction was also mediated by calcium released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, though ryanodine receptors were now activated not by changes in the membrane potential but by the influx of external calcium. Thus, external calcium plays a significant role in the formation of prolonged contractile responses, providing for longer-lasting maintenance of power in contracted muscles.
Key Wordsskeletal muscle electromechanical connection tetanic contraction ryanodine receptors dantrolene
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