Voltage-activated currents in cardiac myocytes of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis

Timothy Curtis, M.H. Depledge, R. Williamson

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Voltage-sensitive ionic currents were identified and characterised in ventricular myocytes of the bivalve mollusc, Mytilus edulis, using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Two outward currents could be distinguished. A potassium A current (I-A) activated at - 30 mV from a holding potential of - 60 mV. This transient current was inactivated by holding the cells at a potential of - 40 mV and was also blocked by applying 4-aminopyridine (3 mM) to the external bath solution. A second current was identified as a delayed rectifier (I-K). This also activated at - 30 mV but exhibited a sustained time course and was still activated at a holding potential of - 40 mV. Both outward currents were reduced in the presence of tetraethylammonium ions (30 mM). A small number of heart cells also showed an inward sodium current (I-Na). This current appeared at potentials more positive than - 50 mV, reached a maximum at - 20 mV, and decreased with further depolarisation. I-Na was inactivated at a holding potential of - 40 mV and was blocked by tetrodotoxin (1 mu M). A second inward current had a sustained time course and was not inactivated by holding the cell at a potential of -40 mV, and was also not abolished by tetrodotoxin. This current peaked at 0 mV, decreasing with further depolarisation. Furthermore, it was enhanced by the addition of barium ions (3 mM) to the bath and was blocked by external cobalt (2 mM) or nifedipine (15 mu M) These findings are consistent with this being an L-type calcium current (I-Ca) The possible physiological roles of these currents in M. edulis heart are discussed. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


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