Calcium Current and Activation of Contraction in Ventricular Myocardial Fibers

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Science  24 Jan 1969:
Vol. 163, Issue 3865, pp. 399-401
DOI: 10.1126/science.163.3865.399


In thin bundles of dog ventricular myocardium, a slow inward current (distinct from the sodium inward current) could be recorded under voltageclamp conditions. This inward current was influenced by changes in external calcium concentration, but it was not dependent on external sodium concentration. Therefore, this current which contributes an appreciable amount of charge transfer during the plateau of the action potential, is carried by calcium ions. In sodium-free solution, the flow of calcium ions into the fiber is directly related to activation of contraction. In sodium-containing solution, however, calcium inward current serves primarily to fill up some intracellular stores from which calcium can be released by moderate depolarization.

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