Temperature-dependence of L-type Ca2+ current in ventricular cardiomyocytes of the Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis)
Ultrastructure, molecular composition and electrophysiological properties of cardiac myocytes and functional characteristics of the fish heart suggest that cycling of extracellular Ca(2+) is generally more important than intracellular cycling of Ca(2+) stores of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in activating contraction of fish cardiac myocytes. This is especially true for the ventricle. However, prominent species-specific differences exist in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and in the relative roles of extracellular and intracellular Ca(2+) sources among the teleostean fish. In fact, in some fish species (tunas, burbot) the SR of atrial myocytes, under certain circumstances, may act as the major source of systolic Ca(2+). These interspecific differences are obviously an outcome of evolutionary adaptation to different habitats and modes of activity in these habitats. There is also substantial intraspecific variation in the SR Ca(2+)-release-to-SL-Ca(2+) influx ratio depending on acute and chronic temperature changes. Consequently excitation-contraction coupling of the fish cardiac myocytes is not a fixed entity, but rather a highly variable and malleable process that enables fish to have an appropriate cardiac scope to exploit a diverse range of environments.