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The Journal of physiology

Relationship between membrane Cl- conductance and contractile endurance in isolated rat muscles.


PMID 23045345

Abstract

Resting skeletal muscle fibres have a large membrane Cl(-) conductance (G(Cl)) that dampens their excitability. Recently, however, muscle activity was shown to induce PKC-mediated reduction in G(Cl) in rat muscles of 40-90%. To examine the physiological significance of this PKC-mediated G(Cl) reduction for the function of muscles, this study explored effects of G(Cl) reductions on contractile endurance in isolated rat muscles. Contractile endurance was assessed from the ability of muscle to maintain force during prolonged stimulation under conditions when G(Cl) was manipulated by: (i) inhibition of PKC, (ii) reduction of solution Cl(-) or (iii) inhibition of ClC-1 Cl(-) channels using 9-anthracene-carboxylic acid (9-AC). Experiments showed that contractile endurance was optimally preserved by reductions in G(Cl) similar to what occurs in active muscle. Contrastingly, further G(Cl) reductions compromised the endurance. The experiments thus show a biphasic relationship between G(Cl) and contractile endurance in which partial G(Cl) reduction improves endurance while further G(Cl) reduction compromises endurance. Intracellular recordings of trains of action potentials suggest that this biphasic dependency of contractile endurance on G(Cl) reflects that lowering G(Cl) enhances muscle excitability but low G(Cl) also increases the depolarisation of muscle fibres during excitation and reduces their ability to re-accumulate K(+) lost during excitation. If G(Cl) becomes very low, the latter actions dominate causing reduced endurance. It is concluded that the PKC-mediated ClC-1 channel inhibition in active muscle reduces G(Cl) to a level that optimises contractile endurance during intense exercise.

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