When deprived of calcium the slow striated muscle fibers of the frog develop reversible contractures in either hypertonic or isotonic solutions. While calcium deprivation continues because of a flowing calcium-free solution the muscles relax slowly and completely. Restoration of calcium during contracture relaxes the muscle promptly to initial tension. When relaxed during calcium lack the return of calcium does not change tension and the muscle stays relaxed. When contractures are induced by solutions containing small amounts of calcium relaxation does not occur or requires several hours. The rate of tension development depends upon the rate at which calcium moves outward since the contractures develop slower in low concentrations of calcium and are absent or greatly slowed in a stagnant calcium-free solution. Withdrawal of calcium prevents the contractile responses to ACh, KCl, or electrical stimulation through the nerve. Muscles return to their original excitability after calcium is restored. Origin of the contractures is unrelated to nerve activity since they are maximal during transmission failure from calcium lack, occur in denervated muscles, and are not blocked by high concentrations of d-tubocurarine, procaine, or atropine. The experiments also indicate that the contractures do not originate from repetitive activity of muscle membranes. The findings are most simply explained by relating the outward movement of calcium as a link for initiating contraction in slow type striated muscle.

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