Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology

Effects of toxin II from the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata on contractile and electrical responses of frog skeletal muscle fibres.

PMID 2872734


The effects of Anemonia sulcata toxin II (ATX-II) were studied on mechanical and electrical activities of frog muscle fibres isolated from semitendinosus or tibialis anterior muscles of Rana temporaria (2.8-7.7 degrees C). In concentrations ranging between 7.7 and 100 microM, ATX-II greatly potentiated the isometric twitch of single muscle fibres in a time-dependent manner. Increase in twitch amplitude by ATX-II was associated with an increase in time to peak tension and time from peak tension to half relaxation. ATX-II caused no change in maximum force production during fused tetanus, but the tension was maintained for several seconds after the cessation of stimulation. Such long tetanic contractions were also obtained in low-Na Ringer solution, but their duration was somewhat shorter. No specific action of ATX-II was detected on relaxation kinetics during a tetanus. The twitch potentiating effect of ATX-II was markedly increased by 3,4-diaminopyridine. Action potentials recorded from single muscle fibres in the presence of ATX-II showed a delayed onset of repolarization with a reduced rate of fall. In addition, ATX-II caused repetitive spontaneous firing of action potentials after the cessation of tetanic stimulation. ATX-II (3.3 - 10 microM) also increased action potential duration by reducing the rate of repolarization in surface fibres of formamide-treated sartorius or cutaneous pectoris muscles (20 degrees C) stimulated indirectly or directly. The potentiation of twitch force and the prolongation of contractions caused by tetanic stimulation can be attributed to the membrane action of ATX-II, which leads to prolongation of action potentials, to repetitive muscle firing and to the appearance of plateau potentials.