The role of K+ channels in the force recovery elicited by Na+-K+ pump stimulation in Ba2+-paralysed rat skeletal muscle



  • 1The present experiments were performed to assess the role of K+ channels in hormonal stimulation of the Na+-K+ pump and to determine the contribution of Na+-K+ pumps to the recovery of excitability and contractility in depolarized skeletal muscle.
  • 2In soleus muscle, Ba2+ (0.02 and 1 mm) was found to inhibit 42K+ efflux and 42K+ influx. Both in the absence and the presence of Ba2+ (1 mm), salbutamol and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) induced a marked decrease in intracellular Na+ and stimulation of 42K+ uptake.
  • 3In soleus muscles Ba2+ (0.1 and 1.0 mm) decreased twitch and tetanic force. Subsequent stimulation of the Na+-K+ pumps by salbutamol, CGRP or repeated electrical stimulation produced a highly significant restoration of force development, which was suppressed by ouabain, but not by glibenclamide. Also, in extensor digitorum longus muscles Ba2+ (0.1 mm) produced a considerable force decline, which was partly restored by salbutamol and CGRP.
  • 4The area of compound action potentials (M-waves) elicited by indirect stimulation was decreased by Ba2+ (0.1 mm). This was associated with a concomitant decrease in tetanic force and depolarization. Salbutamol, CGRP or repeated electrical stimulation all elicited marked recovery of M-wave area, force and membrane potential. All recordings showed close correlations between these three parameters.
  • 5The data add further support to the concept that due to its electrogenic nature and large transport capacity, the Na+-K+ pump is a rapid and efficient mechanism for the maintenance of excitability in skeletal muscle, acting independently of Ba2+- or ATP-sensitive K+ channel function.