Role of the sodium pump in pacemaker generation in dog colonic smooth muscle.
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1. The role of the Na+ pump in the generation of slow wave activity in circular muscle of the dog colon was investigated using a partitioned 'Abe-Tomita' type chamber for voltage control. 2. Blockade of the Na+ pump by omission of extracellular K+, by ouabain, or the combination of 0 mM-Na+ and ouabain, depolarized the membrane up to approximately -40 mV and abolished the slow wave activity. Repolarization back to the control membrane potential by hyperpolarizing current restored the slow wave activity. 3. Slow waves continued to be present in 0 Na+, Li+ HEPES solution. 4. The depolarization induced by the procedures to block Na+ pump activity was associated with an increase in input membrane resistance. 5. Voltage-current relationships show the presence of an inward rectification. 6. Reduction of temperature depolarized the membrane, and decreased the slow wave frequency and amplitude. The slow wave amplitude was restored by repolarization of the membrane. 7. Brief depolarizing pulses evoked premature slow waves. Brief hyperpolarizing pulses terminated the slow waves. 8. We conclude that abolition of slow wave activity by Na+ pump blockade is a direct effect of membrane depolarization and that the Na+ pump is not responsible for the generation of the slow wave. 9. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that pacemaker activity in smooth muscle is a consequence of membrane conductance changes which are metabolically dependent.
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