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Pflugers Arch. 1983 Jul;398(2):114-9.

Influence of divalent cations on potassium contracture duration in frog muscle fibres.


Single fibres or small fibre bundles were dissected from twitch muscles of frogs and washed in low Cl-solutions. Contractures were provoked by 122.5 mM K+. At room temperature (17-20 degrees C) the contracture duration was about 1.5 s in the absence of divalent cations and about 3 s in the presence of 2 mM Ca2+. Contractures were prolonged when Ca2+ was replaced by Ni2+ showing that inward Ca current was not the factor responsible for the contracture prolongation. K contracture duration was prolonged in the cold (3 degrees C) by a factor of about 4 in the presence of non-permeating divalent cations (Ni, Co), when 0.1 mM La3+ was applied together with 2 mM Ca2+, and in the virtual absence of divalent cations. The contractures were prolonged in the cold by a factor of 6 or more in the presence of permeant divalent cations (Ca, Sr, Ba, Mg, and Mn at 8 mM). Diffusion of divalent cations in the transverse tubules of the muscle fibres was shown to have a Q10 similar to that in free solution. It was concluded that inward current of divalent cations may shorten contracture duration by causing ionic depletion of the transverse tubules.

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