Studies on mercury-induced myotonia in the mouse diaphragm.

Abstract

Muscle contracture and myotonia of mouse diaphragm, induced by HgCl2, were studied. HgCl2 induced myotonia of mouse diaphragm only on condition that the Hg2+ contracture was inhibited by 0.005-0.01 mM NaCN. A higher concentration of 0.05 mM NaCN abolished both the Hg2+ contracture and Hg2+ myotonia. This finding suggests that the Hg2+ contracture masked the Hg2+ myotonia which was less sensitive to the inhibitory action of NaCN. This differential inhibitory action of NaCN on Hg2+ contracture from Hg2+ myotonia implies a possibility that NaCN antagonized the actions of HgCl2 not only through a simple chemical interaction. Hg2+ myotonia was characterized by an increase in contractile amplitude and a prolongation of contractile duration which were associated with stimulus-bound repetitive action potentials and an increase in membrane input resistance. A low Cl- medium as well as a Cl- channel blocker (9-anthracene carboxylic acid) not only by themselves induced myotonia, but also antagonized Hg2+ myotonia. Thus, Hg2+ appeared to mimic the Cl- channel blocker in inducing myotonia through a blockade of the Cl- channel. K+ channel blockers (4-aminopyridine, uranyl nitrate and tetraethylammonium chloride), as well as low (0.25 mM) Ca2+ Krebs, augmented Hg2+ myotonia while ATP-sensitive K+ channel blockers (tolbutamide and glibenclamide) antagonized Hg2+ myotonia (in the presence of NaCN). Since glibenclamide did not affect myotonia induced by a Cl- channel blocker, it was suggested that glibenclamide inhibited the Hg2+ myotonia through an interaction either directly or indirectly with NaCN on the sarcolemma. All of these findings suggest that K+ channels (delayed rectifier and Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel) functionally cooperated with the Cl- channel of the sarcolemma in the regulation of the skeletal muscle contraction. In this study, K+ channel blockers synergistically cooperated with Cl- channel blockers in inducing myotonia of the mouse diaphragm, while an ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker exerted only an opposite effect on NaCN. Ca2+ appeared to play an important role in regulating the ionic channel activities, especially the Cl- channel, since low Ca2+ markedly potentiated not only Hg2+ but also low Cl- in inducing myotonia.

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@article{Liu1992StudiesOM, title={Studies on mercury-induced myotonia in the mouse diaphragm.}, author={Shing Hwa Liu and S Y Lin-shiau}, journal={Archives internationales de pharmacodynamie et de thérapie}, year={1992}, volume={319}, pages={86-100} }