Control of calcium release and the effect of ryanodine in skinned muscle fibres of the toad. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1. Skinned muscle fibres from the toad were used to investigate the roles of T-system membrane potential and Ca2+ in controlling the calcium release channels of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). 2. Replacement of K+ in the bathing solution with Na+ produced a large contraction which could last for 30 s or more under certain circumstances. This prolonged contraction could be quickly and completely terminated by repolarizing the fibre in the K+ solution and then immediately re-initiated by returning to the Na+ solution. These data indicate that the membrane potential tightly controlled the substantial and prolonged release of calcium. 3. T-system depolarization in the presence of 10 mM-free EGTA (pCa greater than 9) markedly depleted the SR of Ca2+. This implies that depolarization of the T-system can still trigger substantial release of Ca2+ from the SR even when the myoplasmic [Ca2+] is very low and very heavily buffered by EGTA. 4. When the SR was heavily loaded with Ca2+, substitution of a weakly buffered high [Ca2+] solution (pCa 5.4, 50 microM-EGTA) could produce a small to moderate, transient contraction taking between 3 and 12 s to reach a peak and lasting 30 s or more. 5. This contraction may be produced at least partly by 'calcium-induced calcium release' as ruthenium red (2 microM) completely blocked the responses. Moreover, repeated substitutions produced successively smaller responses in parallel with the 'run-down' of the depolarization-induced contractions. 6. Depolarization could always produce an additional large and fast response at any stage during a 'Ca2(+)-induced' response. 7. In the presence of 25 microM-ryanodine, the rapid contraction produced by T-system depolarization was prolonged and could not be stopped by repolarization. During and after this contraction no depolarizing stimulus could induce a further contraction, even though in some fibres addition of 30 mM-caffeine produced a maximum response which indicated that there was still a substantial amount of calcium in the SR. 8. At pCa 6.4, 25 microM-ryanodine could itself induce a substantial slow contracture in a normally polarized fibre within 30-60 s, after which little or no response could be induced by T-system depolarization. At higher concentrations (25 microM) ryanodine produced a near-maximum contraction in only a few seconds.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

publication date

  • April 1, 1990