1. Rat hearts were perfused with 32Pi, and contractile force was increased by positive inotropic agents (agents that increase contractility). The inhibitory subunit of troponin (troponin I) was then isolated by affinity chromatography in 8M-urea, and its 32P content measured. Incorporation of phosphate into the subunit was calculated on the basis of the [gamma-32P]ATP specific radioactivity in the hearts. 2. When hearts were perfused with 30 nM-DL-isoprenaline (N-isopropylnoradrenaline), there was an increase in contractile force over 30s which was paralleled by an increase in troponin I phosphorylation. When hearts were perfused for 25s with increasing concentrations of isoprenaline from 1 NM to 0.6 muM, there was again a parallel increase in contractile force and troponin I phosphorylation. The maximum phosphorylation observed was 1.5 mol of phosphate/mol of troponin I, which was reached after 25s with 0.1 muM-isoprenaline. 3. Hearts were stimulated with a 15s pulse perfusion of 30nM-DL-isoprenaline. There was an increase in contractile force which was followed by a return to the control value within 50s. Troponin I phosphorylation increased to a plateau value which was reached within 30s, and remained constant for 60s after the isoprenaline pulse. Phosphorylase a and 3′:5′-cyclic AMP concentration showed changes similar to that of the contractile force. There was no change in 3′:5′-cyclic GMP concentration. 4. When hearts stimulated with a 15S pulse of isoprenaline were subsequently perfused with 0.6 muM-acetylcholine, the changes in contractile force, phosphorylase a and 3′:5′-cyclic AMP were very similar to those seen with the 15s pulse of isoprenaline alone. Troponin I phosphorylation increased to a maximum 30s after the end of the isoprenaline pulse, but then rapidly decreased during the subsequent 30s. This decrease was preceded by a 60% increase in the concentration of 3′:5′-cyclic GMP. 5. Hearts were perfused with 0.2 muM-glucagon for periods up to 60s. Contractile force showed little change for the first 30s, but then increased rapidly. This was paralleled by changes in 3′:5′-cyclic AMP concentration. Troponin I phosphorylation increased slowly, but the increase in contractile force had reached a maximum before significant phosphorylation had occurred. 6. It is concluded that under certain conditions, e.g. immediately after β-adrenergic stimulation, there is a good correlation between contractile force and troponin I phosphorylation. However, under other conditions, e.g. when contractile force is decreasing after removal of β-adrenergic stimulation or in the presence of glucagon, contractile force and troponin I phosphorylation are not well correlated. These results suggest that mechanisms for modifying cardiac contractility, other than troponin I phosphorylation, must be present in rat heart.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.