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Enhancement of K+ conductance improves in vitro the contraction force of skeletal muscle in hypokalemic periodic paralysis
An abnormal ratio between Na+ and K+ conductances seems to be the cause for the depolarization and paralysis of skeletal muscle in primary hypokalemic periodic paralysis. Recently we have shown that the k+ channel opener cromakalim hyperpolarizes mammalian skeletal muscle fibers. Now we have studied the effects of this drug on the twitch force of muscle biopsies from normal and diseased human skeletal muscle. Cromakalim had little effect on the twitch force of normal muscle whereas it strongly improved the contraction force of fibers from patients suffering from hypokalemic periodic paralysis. Recordings of intracellular K+ and Cl- activities in human muscle and isolated rat soleus muscle support the view that cromakalim enhances the membrane K+ conductance (gK+). These data indicate that K+ channel openers may have a beneficial effect in primary hypokalemic periodic paralysis.
Is resistance to ischaemia of motor axons in diabetic subjects due to membrane depolarization?
The reasons for the resistance to ischaemia of peripheral nerves in diabetics are not well understood. We have now explored whether axonal depolarization underlies this phenomenon, as has previously been proposed. Resistance to ischaemia was determined by the new method of “threshold tracking”. This method revealed an increase in excitability of the peroneal nerve at the popliteal fossa during ischaemia, and a decrease in excitability in the post-ischaemic period. The extent of these alterations in 28 type 1 diabetics without peripheral neuropathy showed a strong correlation with the mean blood glucose concentrations during the last 24 h before examination. To test whether the ischaemic resistance was related to membrane potential, we also measured axonal superexcitability in 11 selected diabetics, since it has been shown that post-spike changes in excitability depend on membrane potential. Changes in excitability of the peroneal nerve were measured in the period between 10 and 30 msec following a conditioning supramaximal compound action potential. Under resting conditions, no differences in the post-spike superexcitability were found between controls and diabetics, despite striking differences in their responses to a 10-min pressure cuff. These observations indicate that membrane depolarization is not involved in the resistance to ischaemia of motor axons in diabetic subjects.
Different behaviour of the N-terminal and C-terminal fragment of proatrial natriuretic factor in plasma of healthy subjects as well as of patients with cirrhosis
N-terminal (atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) 1-98) and C-terminal (ANF 99-126) fragments of proatrial natriuretic factor (NTA and CTA, respectively) were determined in plasma of healthy subjects adopting different postures and in patients with cirrhosis. Seven healthy subjects were investigated while seated and 30 min after assuming a horizontal position. NTA plasma concentrations increased in subjects in the horizontal position (from 734±250 (SE) fmol/ml to 9021227 fmol/ml; p0.05). In contrast, CTA plasma concentrations remained unchanged (9.2+1.3 fmol/ml vs 8.9±1.6 fmol/ml). In 10 patients with cirrhosis of the liver, NTA concentrations were markedly (p0.001) elevated compared to 11 healthy subjects (2334±291 fmol/ml vs 743±155 fmol/ml). However, there was no difference of CTA plasma levels between cirrhotic patients and healthy subjects (8.7±1.3 fmol/ml vs 8.2±0.9 fmol/ml). These data demonstrate changes of the plasma concentration of the N-terminal fragment of proatrial natriuretic factor by posture and in liver disease, in contrast to unchanged levels of the C-terminal fragment.
The actions of human atrial natriuretic factor on hepatic arterial and portal vascular beds of the anaesthetized dog
1. The vascular actions of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) have been assessed with other vasoactive agents on the hepatic arterial and portal vascular beds of the anaesthetized dog. 2. Intra-arterial bolus injections of ANF (0.1-50 nmol) caused graded increases in hepatic arterial blood flow representing a vasodilatation of relatively short duration. Vasoconstriction was never observed. 3. The maximum increase in hepatic arterial blood was the same for ANF and isoprenaline (Iso) i.e. approximately 60-70% increase over control flow. 4. On a molar basis, ANF was less potent than Iso although over the higher dose range (10(-9)-10(-7) mol) its vasodilator activity exceeded that of the endogenous vasodilator adrenaline. 5. Intraportal bolus injections (1.0-50 nmol) of ANF did not alter portal inflow resistance since no changes in portal inflow pressure occurred when the portal circuit was perfused at constant inflow volume. 6. This differential action of ANF on the hepatic arterial and portal vascular beds may provide a change in total liver blood flow in favour of the arterial component. 7. ANF, by altering hepatic haemodynamics to favour formation of trans-sinusoidal fluid exchange, may provide a temporary expansion of the extravascular fluid reservoir to buffer any increased venous pressure. However, chronically elevated plasma levels of ANF would encourage the formation of ascitic fluid.
Dehydration increases the density of C-receptors for ANF on rat glomerular membranes
Ascitic fluid concentrations of fibronectin and cholesterol