4-aminopyridine-induced contracture in frog ventricle is due to calcium released from intracellular stores

A. Bhaskar, P. K. Subbanna, S. Arasan, J. Rajapathy, J. P. Rao, Sathya Subramani

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study is to demonstrate the presence of intracellular calcium store in frog ventricle based on contractures induced by 4-aminopyridine in calcium-free media. Frog-ventricular strips were subjected to field stimulation at 0.2 Hz and the force of contraction was recorded after stabilization. The preparation was then kept quiescent for some time in solutions with different sodium concentrations, containing 0 or 1 mmol/L calcium. Caffeine, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), or tetraethylammonium chloride was then added. Frog skeletal muscle preparations were used as positive controls for the caffeine experiments. Frog ventricular preparations did not develop contractures (sustained contractions) in the presence of caffeine (25 mmol/L), while frog skeletal muscle preparations developed caffeine-induced contractures. However, 4-AP (16 mmol/L) was able to induce contractures in quiescent frog ventricular preparations, even when they were superfused with calcium-free solution. 4-AP contractures in frog ventricle were seen in the presence of nifedipine also. Amplitude of 4-AP evoked contractures in frog ventricle were much larger in low sodium (30 mmol/L) and sodium-free (sodium substituted by lithium) solutions than in normal sodium solution, suggesting that the route of extrusion of the cytosolic calcium (released from intracellular stores by 4-AP) is the sodium calcium exchanger, which gets reversed in low sodium solutions. Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA) was not able to induce contractures in frog ventricle suggesting that the contracture evoked by 4-AP is not due to its potassium channel blocking effect. In quiescent frog skeletal muscle preparations, caffeine as well as 4-AP induced contractures in calcium-free solutions. We therefore conclude that there is a caffeine-insensitive, 4-AP sensitive intracellular calcium store in the frog ventricle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
JournalIndian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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