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Eur J Pharmacol. 1984 Oct 30;106(1):121-31.

Caffeine actions on currents induced by calcium-overload in Purkinje fibers.


The ionic events underlying the changes induced by caffeine in calcium-overloaded Purkinje fibers were studied by means of a voltage-clamp technique. The following results were obtained. In fibers exposed to strophanthidin (5 X 10(-7) M), a depolarizing clamp of suitable magnitude or duration is followed by an oscillatory current (Ios) often superimposed on a decaying inward tail current (the "tail current"). Caffeine (9 mM) abolishes Ios and increases the tail current. Caffeine has similar actions when calcium overload is induced by increasing [Ca]0 or decreasing [Na]0. The magnitude of the tail current is reduced by decreasing [Ca]0. The tail current appears with repolarizations to -40 mV or more negative values as Ios appears in the absence of caffeine. As with Ios the tail current can be triggered twice (during and after a test clamp of suitable characteristics), becomes more inward with repeated clamps and becomes larger with larger or longer conditioning clamps. During the recovery from caffeine exposure, the tail current decreases gradually as Ios returns progressively. It is concluded that both Ios and tail current are caused by calcium overload but are affected in opposite direction by caffeine, apparently because caffeine decreases the calcium overload in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (abolition of Ios) and increases the calcium to be extruded from the sarcoplasm (increase in the tail current).

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