The calcium-channel agonist-antagonist racemic mixture of BAY K 8644 as well as the pure calcium-channel agonist enantiomer, converted rest potentiation in canine ventricular muscle to rest depression. The depressed postrest beats had increased action potential plateau heights and durations, suggesting that extracellular calcium entry was enhanced. BAY K 8644 did not alter the time to peak tension of either steady-state or postrest beats. Although BAY K 8644 slightly increased the amplitude of rapid-cooling contractures (RCC) immediately after an electrically evoked steady-state contraction (RCCss), the RCC amplitude rapidly decreased with increasing durations of rest. These results suggest that increased calcium influx because of BAY K 8644 increases the pool of releasable calcium during steady-state stimulation. However, they also indicate that BAY K 8644 causes acceleration of diastolic loss of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Scattered light intensity fluctuation measurements showed that the negative inotropic effect of BAY K 8644 on postrest contraction was not caused by calcium overloading of the SR, since BAY K 8644 reduced asynchronous myofilament motion. A negative relationship found between extracellular calcium and BAY K 8644-induced postrest depression also rules out the possibility that the latter effect is caused by intracellular calcium overload. BAY K 8644 seems to accelerate the loss of calcium from the SR during diastole by a pathway that does not appear to pass through the myofilaments.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society