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Additional info for Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, 2nd Edition
Between the terminal cisternae and the T tubules are electron-dense regions called feet that are believed to sense calcium between the T tubules and the terminal cisternae. Closely associated with the sarcoplasmic reticulum are large numbers of mitochondria, which provide the energy necessary for myocyte contraction. CALCIUM CYCLING AND THE FUNCTION OF REGULATORY PROTEINS When an action potential causes depolarization of a myocyte (see Chapter 2), it initiates excitation–contraction coupling. When the myocyte is depolarized, calcium ions enter the cell during the action potential through long-lasting (L-type) calcium channels located on the external sarcolemma and T tubules (see Fig.
All of these effects cause the pacemaker potential to take longer to reach threshold, thereby slowing the rate (negative chronotropy). The rate of repolarization is reduced, which contributes to increasing overall cycle length. Acetylcholine acts by binding to muscarinic receptors (M2). 7 Effects of sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal) stimulation on sinoatrial (SA) nodal pacemaker activity. Sympathetic stimulation increases the ﬁring rate by increasing the slope of phase 4 and lowering the threshold for the action potential.
However, because of the large increase in slow inward gCa++, the repolarization is delayed and the action potential reaches a plateau phase (phase 2). This inward calcium movement is through long-lasting (L-type) calcium channels that open when the membrane potential depolarizes to about −40 mV. L-type calcium channels are the major calcium channels in cardiac and vascular smooth muscle. They are opened by membrane depolarization (they are voltageoperated) and remain open for a relatively long duration.