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Effect of Acetylcholine and Quinidine on Atrial Cellular Potentials

Naturevolume 180pages14831484 (1957) | Download Citation



Briscoe and Burn1 have shown that acetylcholine will restore the spontaneous contractions of rabbit atria which have been arrested by quinidine. Armitage2 has suggested that quinidine impairs repolarization by rendering the cell membrane less permeable to potassium ions, and acetylcholine restarts the tissue by restoring the potassium permeability. However, Weidmann3, Johnson4 and Johnson and McKinnon5 have demonstrated that in cardiac muscle quinidine predominantly affected the depolarization phase of the action potential. The maximum rate of rise of the action potential was grossly decreased with little or no concomitant change in the membrane resting potential, indicating that the drug had a direct effect on the sodium-carrying system.

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  1. 1

    Briscoe, S., and Burn, J. H., Brit. J. Pharmacol., 9, 42 (1954).

  2. 2

    Armitage, A. K., Brit. J. Pharmacol., 12, 74 (1957).

  3. 3

    Weidmann, S., J. Physiol., 129, 568 (1955).

  4. 4

    Johnson, E. A., J. Pharm. Exp. Therap., 117, 237 (1956).

  5. 5

    Johnson, E. A., and McKinnon, M. G., J. Pharm. Exp. Therap. (in the press).

  6. 6

    Weidmann, S., J. Physiol., 127, 213 (1955).

  7. 7

    Burn, J. H., “Functions of Autonomic Transmitters” (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1956).

  8. 8

    Harris, E. J., and Hutter, O. F., J. Physiol., 133, 58P (1956).

  9. 9

    Trautwein, K., Kuffler, S. W., and Edwards, C., J. Gen. Physiol., 40, 135 (1956).

  10. 10

    Coraboeuf, E., and Weidmann, S., Helv. Physiol. Acta, 12, 32 (1954).

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  1. Department of Pharmacology, University of Sydney, Sydney

    •  & P. A. ROBERTSON


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