Here, we describe a method for characterizing the L-type Ca(2+) current, ICaL, which is a major trigger for Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The protocol includes measuring ICaL amplitude and voltage dependence and the elicited SR Ca(2+) release. The procedure for measuring ICaL activity is performed using solutions (internal and external) and voltage control such that other ionic currents are eliminated. The resultant relationship between the Ca(2+) current and the associated internal [Ca(2+)]i transient is a first approach for evaluating coupling gain. We discuss which parameters are most appropriate for this analysis and how an evaluation of gain needs to be further explored by measuring the SR Ca(2+) content.
- Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism
- Sarcoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism
- Sus scrofa