Rainbow trout myocardium does not exhibit a slow inotropic response to stretch

Simon M. Patrick, Ed White, Holly A. Shiels

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    Mammalian myocardial studies reveal a biphasic increase in the force of contraction due to stretch. The first rapid response, known as the Frank-Starling response, occurs within one heartbeat of stretch. A second positive inotropic response occurs over the minutes following the initial stretch and is known as the slow force response (SFR). The SFR has been observed in mammalian isolated whole hearts, muscle preparations and individual myocytes. We present the first direct study into the SFR in the heart of a non-mammalian vertebrate, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). We stretched ventricular trabecular muscle preparations from 88% to 98% of their optimal length and individual ventricular myocytes by 7% of their slack sarcomere length (SL). Stretch caused an immediate increase in force in both preparations, indicative of the Frank-Starling response. However, we found no significant effect of prolonged stretch on the force of contraction in either the ventricular trabecular preparations or the single myocytes. This indicates that rainbow trout ventricular myocardium does not exhibit a SFR and that, in contrast to mammals, the piscine Frank-Starling response may not be associated with the SFR. We speculate that this is due to the fish myocardium modulating cardiac output via changes in stroke volume to a larger extent than heart rate. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1119-1122
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • Carbon fibres
    • Frank-Starling response
    • Myocyte
    • Slow force response
    • Trabeculae
    • Ventricle


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