Spontaneous mechanical activity can be produced in depolarized frog ventricle by bathing the tissue in a solution with low Na, Iow Ca, and high K+. The contractions can be inhibited by depleting the tissue of Ca first, but they are relatively insensitive to changes in either extracellular [Ca++] or [Ca++]/[Na+]2. They are terminated very rapidly by raising [Na+] to 40 mM. Local anesthetics enhance the spontaneous activity in proportion to the concentration of their free base form. These contractions occur relatively rhythmically for several hours. Since the preparation is multicellular, this suggests a mechanism for intercellular communication without change in membrane potential.

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