Halothane-sensitivity gene and muscle contractile properties in malignant hyperthermia

E. M. Gallant, J. R. Mickelson, B. D. Roggow, S. K. Donaldson, C. F. Louis, W. E. Rempel

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Malignant hyperthemia (MH) results from the presence of the halothane-sensitivity gene and is characterized by abnormalities in muscle function. Populations of genetically defined pigs were used to determine the in vivo and in vitro expression of this gene in both the homozygous and the heterozygous condition. On exposure to halothane, isolated muscle bundles from the homozygous halothane-sensitive pigs exhibited decreased tetanus tension and increased tetanus half-relaxation time and contracture and were clearly distinguished from homozygous normal muscles. The heterozygous and homozygous normal muscles were similar in contractile responses except for the occurrence of halothane-induced contractures in the heterozygotes. The heterozygous halothane-negative pigs did not exhibit the characteristic signs of an MH episode in response to halothane succinylcholine, although some metabolic responses were significantly altered (e.g., increased venous partial pressure of CO2 and arterial and venous K+ concentration). Thus the heterozygous pigs were not MH susceptible but did represent a phenotype distinct from the homozygous normal pigs both in vitro and in vivo. These data provide the first convincing evidence for the expression of the halothane-sensitivity gene in heterozygotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


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