ELECTRICALLY INDUCED INTRACELLULAR Ca2+ TRANSIENT IN SINGLE VENTRICULAR MYOCYTES: A USEFUL PARAMETER FOR THE STUDY OF CARDIAC DRUGS
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1. Fluorescent Ca2+ indicators, such as fura-2/AM and calcium green-1, have become one of the most popular tools for measuring intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). 2. Electrical stimulation triggers a cascade of events in the cardiac muscle, which results in a [Ca2+]i transient and, eventually, contraction. The events that occur in electrically induced cardiac myocytes mimic the normal physiological events in vivo. 3. The electrically induced [Ca2+]i transient represents influx of Ca2+ from outside and mobilization of Ca2+ from the intracellular store and is directly related to contraction. Thus, it is more important to determine the electrically induced [Ca2+]i transient than [Ca2+]i. The [Ca2+]i transient can be easily measured with the spectrofluorescence method using fura 2/AM as the Ca2+ indicator in a single ventricular myocyte preparation. 4. We made use of the results of studies on carbachol, tetrandrine and cardiotoxin to illustrate the usefulness of the electrically induced [Ca2+]i transient in the study of actions of cardiac drugs.
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