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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1995 Dec;27(12):2581-93.

L- and T-type calcium currents differ in finch and rat ventricular cardiomyocytes.

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Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


We compared L-type Ca current (ICaL) and T-type Ca current (ICaT) in finch and rat myocytes, using whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Cell capacitance averaged 50 +/- 4 pF in finch (n = 25) v 145 +/- 8 pF in rat (n = 38) cells, P < 0.001. In cells bathed in 1 mM Cao at 22 degrees C, peak ICaL amplitude, during a voltage clamp step (10 mM EGTA in pipette) from -45 mV to -5 mV, averaged 10.5 +/- 0.3 pA/pF in finch v 6.9 +/- 0.6 pA/pF, P < 0.001 in rat cells. ICaL inactivation kinetics were faster in finch (4.6 +/- 0.3 ms) than in rat (13.4 +/- 1.3 ms) cells. P < 0.001. ICaT was not detectable in rat cells (2 mM bathing [Ca]); but in finch cells, a large ICaT which averaged 6.8 +/- 1.4 pA/pF was activated at -30 mV and was relatively insensitive to nitrendipine (0.1 microM). The distinctive features of ICaL and ICaT in finch cells may have a role in the ability of the finch to achieve a very rapid heart rate. They may also facilitate excitation-Ca2+ release coupling in finch ventricular cells which are devoid of T tubules and have relatively few junctions between the sarcolemma and the sarcoplasmic reticulum.

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