Enhanced Ca2+-induced calcium release by isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles from malignant hyperthermia susceptible pig muscle

James R. Mickelson, Julie A. Ross, Brian K. Reed, Charles F. Louis

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To further define the possible involvement of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium accumulation and release in the skeletal muscle disorder malignant hyperthermia (MH), we have examined various properties of sarcoplasmic reticulum fractions isolated from normal and MH-susceptible pig muscle. A sarcoplasmic reticulum preparation enriched in vesicles derived from the terminal cisternae, was further fractionated on discontinuous sucrose density gradients (Meissner, G. (1984) J. Biol. Chem. 259, 2365-2374). The resultant MH-susceptible and normal sarcoplasmic reticulum fractions, designated F0 F4, did not differ in yield, cholesterol and phospholipid content, or nitrendipine binding capacity. Calcium accumulation (0.27 μmol Ca/mg per min at 22°C), Ca2+-ATPase activity (0.98 μmol Pi/mg per min at 22°C), and calsequestrin content were also similar for MH-susceptible and normal sarcoplasmic reticulum fraction F3. To examine sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release, fraction F3 vesicles were passively loaded with 45Ca (approx. 40 nmol Ca/mg), and rapidly diluted into a medium of defined Ca2+ concentration. Upon dilution into 1 μM Ca2+, the extent of Ca2+-dependent calcium release measured after 5 s was significantly greater for MH-susceptible than for normal sarcoplasmic reticulum, 65.9 ± 2.8% vs. 47.7 ± 3.9% of the loaded calcium, respectively. The C 1 2 for Ca2+ stimulation of this calcium release (5 s value) from MH-susceptible sarcoplasmic reticulum also appeared to be shifted towards a higher Ca2+-sensitivity when compared to normal sarcoplasmic reticulum. Dantrolene had no effect on calcium release from fraction F3, however, halothane (0.1-0.5 mM) increased the extent of calcium release (5 s) similarly in both MH-susceptible and normal sarcoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, Mg2+ was less effective at inhibiting, while ATP and caffeine were more effective in stimulating, this Ca2+-dependent release of calcium from MH-susceptible, when compared to normal sarcoplasmic reticulum. Our results demonstrate that while sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-accumulation appears unaffected in MH, aspect(s) of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-induced calcium release mechanism are altered. Although the role of the Ca2+-induced calcium release mechanism of sarcoplasmic reticulum in situ is not yet clear, our results suggest that an abnormality in the regulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release may play an important role in the MH syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-328
Number of pages11
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 17 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Portions of this research were conducted during the tenure of a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (J.R.M.). We are indebted to Dr. William Rempel for the supply of experimental animals, and wish to thank Drs. Esther Gallant and Sue Donaldson for invaluable discussions, and the Veterinary Biology secretarial staff for excellent typing service. This research was supported by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and NIH GM-31382.


  • (Pig muscle)
  • Ca release
  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum


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