The effects of sodium pump activity on the slow inward current in sheep cardiac Purkinje fibres

W. J. Lederer, D. A. Eisner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The effects of Na pump activity on the slow inward current, I(si), magnitude and twitch tension were investigated in sheep cardiac Purkinje fibres. A two-microelectrode voltage-clamp method was used, tension being measured simultaneously. Na pump activity was lowered either by reducing the extracellular K concentrations, [K](o), or by applying the cardiotonic steroid strophanthidin. Reduction of [K](o) from 4 to 0 mM leads to time-dependent increases in I(si) magnitude and twitch tension. The increases of I(si) and tension could be reversed by adding Tl, Rb, Cs or NH4 ions to the K-free superfusate. The actions of these ions are attributed to the known ability of these cations to activate the external site of the Na pump. This conclusion is supported by the observation that such activator cations do not reverse the increases in I(si) and tension produced by strophanthidin. We conclude that the effects of low [K](o) on I(si) are mediated by Na pump inhibition. Similarly the Na pump inhibition produced by strophanthidin increases I(si) and tension, although, in this case, other mechanisms may also contribute. Measurements of the activity of the electrogenic Na pump show that elevated intracellular Na ion concentration secondary to Na pump inhibition and not the instantaneous Na pump turnover rate mediates the increase in I(si) magnitude.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-262
    Number of pages13
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Issue number1195
    Publication statusPublished - 1982


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