The influence of intracellular pH on contraction, relaxation and [Ca2+]i in intact single fibres from mouse muscle
Westerblad, H.; Allen, D.G.
Journal of Physiology 466: 611-628
1. The effects of intracellular pH (pHi) on myoplasmic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and contractile performance were studied in intact single fibres dissected from mouse skeletal muscle. Indo-1 was used to measure [Ca2+]i and pHi was altered by changing perfusate CO2. 2. Tetanic tension was decreased at acidic pHi and increased at alkaline pHi whereas the rate of mechanical relaxation was showed at both acidic and alkaline pHi. Resting and tetanic [Ca2+]i were increased at acidic pHi and decreased at alkaline pHi while the final rate of decline of [Ca2+]i after a tetanus was markedly slowed at acid pHi but only marginally accelerated at alkaline pHi. 3. Steady-state [Ca2+]i-tension curves were constructed from measurements of tetani at different stimulus frequencies. The curves at acid pHi showed a reduced maximum Ca(2+)-activated tension and a reduced Ca2+ sensitivity, and curves at alkaline pHi showed the opposite changes. 4. Two methods were devised to determine the contribution of [Ca2+]i to the rate of relaxation. In one method the instantaneous tension was plotted as a function of instantaneous [Ca2+]i throughout a tetanus and compared with the steady-state [Ca2+]i-tension relation. In a second method the [Ca2+]i signal during a tetanus was converted to a Ca(2+)-derived tension record by means of the steady-state [Ca2+]i-tension relation and this Ca(2+)-derived tension was then compared to the true tension. 5. The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) pump function was analysed by plotting -d[Ca2+]i/dt against [Ca2+]i during the final slow decline of [Ca2+]i after a tetanus. This analysis shows that the Ca2+ uptake by the SR is a third- or fourth-power function of [Ca2+]i and that acidosis substantially slows the rate of SR Ca2+ pumping. 6. In conclusion, the slowing of relaxation at acidic pHi could be attributed to a slowing of cross-bridge detachment rather than the observed slowing of the rate of uptake of Ca2+. Conversely the slowing of relaxation in alkaline pHi could be attributed to the increase of Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofibrillar proteins.