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Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1985 Jun 22;224(1237):489-509.

The strontium-induced calcium-release process and its implication in contractility of skeletal muscle of Rana ridibunda.


The electrical and mechanical activities of isolated frog muscle fibres have been recorded simultaneously under conditions (chloride-free saline containing 78.5 mM strontium acetate substituting for NaCl and CaCl2) that allow the development of a tubular strontium permeability. Under voltage-clamp conditions a large part of the contraction is due to the slow inward ISr since both are inhibited by Ni (10 mM). The remaining component of contraction, which seems to be potential-dependent, is not abolished by tetracaine (40 microM) which blocks the current-dependent component. A cumulative effect of strontium, which is not observed in the presence of Ni, leads to a 60-80% reduction in contractility for an estimated [Sr]i near 3 X 10(-4) M while the ending of the contraction observed when Sr is replaced by Ba is never obtained. In contrast no cumulative effect is observed when Ca substitutes for Sr. The first evoked inward current following a caffeine contracture fails to elicit a contraction, but in Ringer 78.5 Sr, contractility is progressively restored by successive depolarizations up to an amplitude which corresponds to 25-40% of the maximum activity. In the presence of Ca instead of Sr, the restoration of contractility reaches 100%. This recovery does not occur when the inward current is blocked by Ni. After strontium loading, a calcium entry fails immediately and reversibly to induce a mechanical response while barium ions induce a progressive and irreversible block of contractility. These results suggest that the strontium entry during successive depolarizations leads to a progressive replacement of intrareticular calcium by strontium. When all the calcium ions have been substituted for by strontium ions, the contractile apparatus remains capable of being activated by intrareticular strontium.

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