William Clusin, MD

Publication Details

  • CAFFEINE INDUCES A TRANSIENT INWARD CURRENT IN CULTURED CARDIAC-CELLS NATURE Clusin, W. T. 1983; 301 (5897): 248-250

    Abstract:

    Electrical excitation of cardiac muscle may sometimes be due to initiation of inward current by the presence of Ca2+ ions at the inner surface of the cell membrane. During digitalis toxicity and other conditions that abnormally augment cellular Ca2+ stores, premature release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum leads to a transient inward current, which is large enough to initiate premature beats and is accompanied by a transient contractile response. This inward current may be mediated either by electrogenic sodium-calcium exchange or by specific Ca2+-activated cation channels that have recently been characterized in tissue cultures of cardiac myocytes. An obvious question raised by these observations is whether release of the sequestered Ca2+ stores during each normal beat exerts a similar influence on membrane potential. To explore this, chick embryonic myocardial cell aggregates were voltage-clamped during abrupt exposure to caffeine, which is known to release Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The speed of the perfusion system and the relative absence of diffusion barriers in the tissue-cultured cells allowed the effects of caffeine-induced Ca2+ release to be studied on a time scale comparable to that of a single normal beat. We report here that abrupt exposure of the cells to caffeine produced a transient inward current having similar features to that of digitalis toxicity, and which was both large enough and rapid enough to potentially contribute to the action potential.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1983PY60100049

    View details for PubMedID 6296694

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