Depolarization thresholds for eliciting tension and Ca electrogenesis have been compared in isolated crayfish muscle fibers. Just-detectable tensions and Ca spikes induced after treatment with procaine were elicited with intracellularly applied depolarizing currents of fixed duration. Both thresholds were found to increase in a similar manner in fibers exposed to increased concentrations of Ca in the bathing solution or addition of other divalent cations (Mg, Mn, Ni). However, antagonistic effects between divalent cations were also demonstrated. Substitution of increasing amounts of NaSCN for NaCl in the standard saline produced a progressive decrease in both thresholds. The correlation in the change in thresholds for the two processes supports the hypothesis that a change in membrane Ca conductance is an integral step in excitation-contraction coupling.

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