Effect of reactive oxygen species on K+ contractures in the rat diaphragm. Academic Article uri icon


  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are postulated to alter low-frequency contractility of the unfatigued and fatigued diaphragm. It has been proposed that ROS affect contractility through changes in membrane excitability and excitation-contraction coupling. If this hypothesis is true, then ROS should alter depolarization-dependent K+ contractures. Xanthine oxidase (0.01 U/ml) + hypoxanthine (1 mM) were used as a source of superoxide anion eliciting oxidative stress on diaphragm fiber bundles in vitro. Diaphragm fiber bundles from 4-mo-old Fischer 344 rats were extracted and immediately placed in Krebs solution bubbled with 95% O2-5% CO2. After 10 min of equilibration, a K+ contracture (Pre; 135 mM KCl) was induced. Fiber bundles were assigned to the following treatment groups: normal Krebs-Ringer (KR; Con) and the xanthine oxidase system (XO) in KR solution. After 15 min of treatment exposure, a second (Post) K+ contracture was elicited. Mean time-to-peak tension for contractures was significantly decreased in Post vs. Pre (16.0 +/- 0.7 vs. 19.8 +/- 1.0 s) with XO; no change was noted with Con. Furthermore, peak contracture tension was significantly higher (31.5%) in the XO group Post compared with Pre; again, no significant change was found with KR. The relaxation phase was also altered with XO but not with KR. Additional experiments were conducted with application of 1 mM hypoxanthine, with results similar to the Con group. We conclude that the application of ROS altered the dynamics of K+ contractures in the rat diaphragm, indicating changes in voltage-dependent excitation-contraction coupling.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Physiol (1985)

author list (cited authors)

  • Lawler, J. M., Hu, Z., & Barnes, W. S.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Lawler, JM||Hu, Z||Barnes, WS

publication date

  • March 1998