Contractile properties of the axolotl ventricle at 17 and 21°C

Francis Wignall, Holly A. Shiels

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Mammalian cardiac muscle exhibits a number of intrinsic response systems which adjust function to changing conditions. These include the Frank-Starling response and the slow force response which are activated upon myocardial stretch, and the force-frequency response, which is evident upon changes in cardiac frequency. In this study we have examined the effect of myocardial stretch and changes in pacing frequency on isolated ventricular muscle preparations from the ectothermic amphibian, the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). We preformed these studies at two physiologically relevant temperatures 17°C and 21°C. We found that increasing the length of the muscle increased active force via the Frank-Starling response at both temperatures, which is consistent with cardiac muscle preparations in other vertebrates. We found no evidence for the slow force response at either temperature suggesting that in axolotl, unlike mammals but similar to fish, the slow force response is not associated with the Frank-Starling response. Increasing contraction frequency caused a decrease in active force across all frequencies tested (0.5-2.0. Hz)-a monophasic negative force-frequency response, independent of temperature. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-235
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of thermal biology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • Ambystoma mexicanum
    • Force-frequency response
    • Frank-Starling response
    • Heart
    • Slow force response
    • Temperature


    Dive into the research topics of 'Contractile properties of the axolotl ventricle at 17 and 21°C'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this