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The control of calcium release in heart muscle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1049
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume268
Journal issue5213
StatePublished - 19 Jan 1995

Abstract

The control of calcium release from intracellular stores (the sarcoplasmic reticulum) in cardiac muscle was examined with the use of a confocal microscope and voltage clamp techniques. Depolarization evoked graded calcium release by altering the extent of spatial and temporal summation of elementary calcium release events called ''calcium sparks.'' These evoked sparks were triggered by local L-type calcium channel currents in a stochastic manner, were similar at different potentials, and resembled spontaneous calcium sparks. Once triggered, the calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum during a calcium spark was independent of the duration of the triggering calcium influx. These results were used to develop a unifying model for cardiac excitation-contraction coupling that explains the large (but paradoxically stable) amplification of the trigger calcium influx by a combination of digital and analog behavior.

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