Neuromuscular Function and Disorders by Alan J. McComas (Auth.)

By Alan J. McComas (Auth.)

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Extra resources for Neuromuscular Function and Disorders

Sample text

These authors injected large single muscle fibres of barnacles with aqueorin, a protein which luminesces in the presence of calcium ions. 4). The authors were able to show that the calcium ions were released between the onset of the membrane response and the start of the muscle contraction, as would be expected for a coupling mechanism. The concentration of calcium ions increased rapidly during the membrane response and began to fall on completion of the latter. The change in muscle tension ran a much slower course, 41 binding protein).

The technique used was to embed single frog semitendinosus fibres in gelatin-Ringer and to compress them longitudinally; the myofibrils then became wavy. The fibre was stimulated electrically and the contractions of the myofibrils were photographed with a high-speed cine camera; in shortening, they became straight instead of wavy. It was found that the evoked action potential caused the superficial myofibrils to contract first and the central ones last. At 20 °C the velocity of inward spread of activation was 7 cm/s.

These authors interpret their findings in terms of an action of adrenaline upon p-receptors within the muscle fibres themselves. Dantrolene sodium. This drug has been shown to reduce the isometric twitch without affecting the surface action potential and has recently been found of value in the treatment of spasticity. The mechanism by which dantrolene is apparently able to interfere with excitation-contraction coupling has not yet been determined though Ellis and Carpenter (1972) have suggested that it reduces the calcium released into the sarcoplasm.

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