In skeletal muscle, release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) represents the major source of cytoplasmic Ca2+ elevation. SR calcium release is under the strict command of the membrane potential, which drives the interaction between the voltage sensors in the t-tubule membrane and the calcium-release channels. Either detection or control of the membrane voltage is thus essential when studying intracellular calcium signaling in an intact muscle fiber preparation. The silicone-clamp technique used in combination with intracellular calcium measurements represents an efficient tool for such studies. This article reviews some properties of the plasma membrane and intracellular signals measured with this methodology in mouse skeletal muscle fibers. Focus is given to the potency of this approach to investigate both fundamental aspects of excitation-contraction coupling and potential alterations of intracellular calcium handling in some muscle diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology