Intramembrane charge movement has been measured in frog cut skeletal muscle fibers using the triple vaseline gap voltage-clamp technique. Ionic currents were reduced using an external solution prepared with tetraethylammonium to block potassium currents, and O sodium + tetrodotoxin to abolish sodium currents. The internal solution contained 10 mM EGTA to prevent contractions. Both the internal and external solutions were prepared with impermeant anions. Linear capacitive currents were subtracted using the P-P/4 procedure, with the control pulses being subtracted either at very negative potentials, for the case of polarized fibers, or at positive potentials, for the case of depolarized fibers. In 63 polarized fibers dissected from Rana pipiens or Leptodactylus insularis frogs the following values were obtained for charge movement parameters: Qmax = 39 nC/microF, V = 36 mV, k = 18.5 mV. After depolarization we found that the total amount of movable charge was not appreciably reduced, while the voltage sensitivity was much changed. For 10 fibers, in which charge movement was measured at -100 and at 0 mV, Qmax changed from 46 to 41 nC/microF, while V changed from -41 to -103 mV and k changed from 20.5 to 30 mV. Thus membrane depolarization to 0 mV produces a shift of greater than 50 mV in the Q-V relationship and a decrease of the slope. Membrane depolarization to -20 and -30 mV, caused a smaller shift of the Q-V relationship. In normally polarized fibers addition of D-600 at concentrations of 50-100 microM, does not cause important changes in charge movement parameters. However, the drug appears to have a use-dependent effect after depolarization. Thus in depolarized fibers, total charge is reduced by approximately 20%. D-600 causes no further changes in the voltage sensitivity of charge movement in fibers depolarized to 0 mV, while in fibers depolarized to -20 and -30 mV it causes the same effects as that obtained with depolarization to 0 mV. These results are compatible with the idea that after depolarization charge 1 is transformed into charge 2. D-600 appears to favor the conversion of charge 1 into charge 2. Since D-600 also favors contractile inactivation, charge 2 could represent the state of the voltage sensor for excitation-contraction coupling in the inactivated state.

This content is only available as a PDF.