Ion concentration-dependence of rat cardiac unitary L-type calcium channel conductance

Antonio Guia, Michael D. Stern, Edward G. Lakatta, Ira R. Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Little is known about the native properties of unitary cardiac L-type calcium currents (ica) measured with physiological calcium (Ca) ion concentration, and their role in excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling. Our goal was to chart the concentration-dependence of unitary conductance (7) to physiological Ca concentration and compare it to barium ion (Ba) conductance in the absence of agonists. In isolated, K-depolarized rat myocytes, ica amplitudes were measured using cell-attached patches with 2 to 70 mM Ca or 2 to 105 mM Ba in the pipette. At 0 mV, 2 mM of Ca produced 0.12 pA, and 2 mM of Ba produced 0.19 pA unitary currents. Unitary conductance was described by a Langmuir isotherm relationship with a maximum γca of 5.3 ± 0.2 pS (n = 15), and γBa of 15 ± 1 pS (n = 27). The concentration producing half-maximal γ, Kd(γ), was not different between Ca (1.7 ± 0.3 mM) and Ba (1.9 ± 0.4 mM). We found that quasi-physiological concentrations of Ca produced currents that were as easily resolvable as those obtained with the traditionally used higher concentrations. This study leads to future work on the molecular basis of E-C coupling with a physiological concentration of Ca ions permeating the Ca channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2742-2750
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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