Calcium modulates the influence of length changes on the myofibrillar adenosine triphosphatase activity in rat skinned cardiac trabeculae

G. J.M. Stienen, Z. Papp, G. Elzinga

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The relationship between adenosine triphosphate (ATP) turnover and muscle performance was investigated in skinned cardiac trabeculae of the rat at different [Ca2+] and two different sarcomere lengths (1.8 μm and 2.2 μm) at 20°C. ATP turnover was measured photometrically by enzymatic coupling of the regeneration of ATP to the oxidation of reduced nicotineamide adenine dinucleotide. The trabeculae were studied under isometric conditions and when the length was altered repetitively at a frequency of 23 Hz, with a square wave, by 5% of the initial length. The isometric ATPase activity amounted to 0.48 mM/s. Isometric ATP turnover and force were proportional at different [Ca2+]. During length changes at maximal activation (pCa 4.27) and 2.2 μm sarcomere length, ATPase activity increased to up to 162% whereas at low [Ca2+], ATPase activity decreased with respect to the isometric value at that pCa. At pCa 5.5, ATPase activity was reduced to 33%. These results indicate that during the length changes the apparent cross-bridge detachment rate is increased and the apparent attachment rate is decreased. The findings suggest that the Fenn effect, i. e. the increase in energy turnover above the isometric value during shortening, is present in cardiac trabeculae at high levels of activation, but is absent or reversed at lower levels of activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalPflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1993



  • Calcium
  • Cardiac muscle
  • Muscle contraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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