Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1985 Sep;17(9):821-40.

The cellular basis of the length-tension relation in cardiac muscle.


The relation between muscle length or sarcomere length and developed tension for lengths up to the optimal for contraction (Lmax) is much steeper in cardiac muscle than in skeletal muscle. The steepness of the cardiac length--tension relation arises because the degree of activation of the cardiac myofibrils by calcium increases as muscle length is increased. Two processes contribute to this length-dependence of activation: (i) the calcium sensitivity of the myofibrils increases with muscle length and (ii) the amount of calcium supplied to the myofibrils during systole increases with muscle length. Of these two, the change in calcium sensitivity is the most clearly defined and is responsible for a large part of the rapid change in developed tension when muscle length is altered. It is likely that this change in calcium sensitivity is due to a change in the affinity of troponin for calcium but the underlying mechanism has not been identified. There is good evidence that changes in the calcium supply to the myofibrils can account for the slow changes in tension that follow an alteration in length; there may also be rapid changes in calcium supply but this is less clearly established at present.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk