Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

K-contractures and membrane potential in mammalian skeletal muscle

Abstract

A FUNDAMENTAL property of skeletal muscle fibres is the ability to develop tension in response to surface membrane depolarisation. The relation between membrane potential (Vm) and tension has been measured in amphibian muscle using external potassium concentration (K0) to clamp Vm 1–4. A K-contracture follows exposure to high K0 and tension is graded with K0 between 20 mM (Vm = −50 mV) and 50 mM (Vm= −40 mV). Human intercostal muscle, however, either does not respond mechanically to K0 of 80 mM or gives a very small contracture5. It is not clear whether this is a result of diffusion delays in the large bundles of fibres or whether there is a basic species difference in excitation–contraction coupling. I report here that, in bundles of fewer than 20 fibres, the relationship between K-contracture tension and K0 is shifted to higher K0 in rat muscle because changes in K0 are less effective in altering Vm.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Hodgkin, A. L. & Horowicz, P. J. Physiol. Lond. 153, 386–403 (1960).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Caputo, C. J. Physiol. Lond. 223, 461–482 (1972).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Caputo, C. J. Physiol. Lond. 223, 485–505 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Costantin, L. L. J. gen. Physiol. 58, 117–130 (1971).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Moulds, R. F. W. & Denborough, M. A. Clin. exp. Pharmac. Physiol. 1, 197–209 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Dulhunty, A. F. Proc. Aust. Physiol. Pharmacol. Soc. 7, 3P (1976).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Dulhunty, A. F. & Gage, P. W. J. Physiol Lond. 234, 373–408 (1973).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Schiaffino, S., Hanzlikova, V. & Pierobon, S. J. Cell Biol. 47, 107–119 (1970).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Luff, A. R. & Atwood, H. L. Am. J. Physiol. 222, 1435–1439 (1972).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Lannergren, J. & Noth, J. J. gen. Physiol. 61, 158–175 (1973a).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Lannergren, J. & Noth, J. J. gen. Physiol. 62, 737–755 (1963).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Adrian, R. H., Chandler, W. K. & Hodgkin, A. L. J. Physiol. Lond. 204, 207–230 (1969).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Costantin, L. L. J. gen. Physiol. 63, 657–674 (1974).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Lipicky, R. J. & Bryant, S. H. J. gen. Physiol. 50, 89–113 (1966).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Barr, L. & Martin, R. L. Am. J. Physiol. 208, 1042–1045 (1965).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Goodford, P. J. J. Physiol. Lond. 170, 227–237 (1964).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Keynes, R. D. J. Physiol. Lond. 169, 690–705 (1963).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Almers, W. J. Physiol. Lond. 225, 57 (1972).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Barry, P. H. & Adrian, R. H. J. Membrane Biol. 14, 243–292 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Hodgkin, A. L. & Horowicz, P. J. Physiol. Lond. 148, 127–160 (1959).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

DULHUNTY, A. K-contractures and membrane potential in mammalian skeletal muscle. Nature 266, 75–78 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/266075a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing