Ca2+ and segment length dependence of isometric force kinetics in intact ferret cardiac muscle

William O. Hancock, Donald A. Martyn, Lee L. Huntsman

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38 Scopus citations


The influence of Ca2+ and sarcomere length on myocardial crossbridge kinetics was studied in ferret papillary muscle by measuring the rate of force redevelopment following a rapid length step that dropped the force to zero. Tetanic stimulation with 5 μmol/L ryanodine was used to obtain a steady-state contraction, and segment length was measured and controlled using a sense-coil technique that measures changes in the cross-sectional area of the central region of the muscle. The rate constant for the recovery of force (ktr) following a rapid length release was obtained by fitting the data with a single exponential function. Contrary to results from skinned skeletal fibers in which ktr increases almost 10-fold from low to maximal activation levels, ktr was found not to increase at higher activation levels in this study. Similarly, although force increased with segment length under all conditions, ktr never increased with length. Data presented here are consistent with a model of myocardial Ca2+ activation in which Ca2+ modulates the number of crossbridges interacting with the thin filament and are inconsistent with a model in which Ca2+ modulates the kinetics of transitions to force producing states within the actomyosin cycle. Differences in the activation dependence of the force redevelopment rate between cardiac and skeletal muscle suggest that there are fundamental differences in the mechanism of Ca2+ activation between these two muscle types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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