1. A vaseline‐gap voltage‐clamp technique was used to record slow Ca2+ and K+ currents from frog skeletal muscle fibres loaded with the Ca2+ chelator EGTA. 2. K+ currents were increased when Mg2+ replaced external Ca2+, and they were abolished when internal K+ was replaced by tetraethylammonium (TEA+). Ca2+ currents could be studied in isolation in fibres loaded with (TEA)2EGTA. 3. Under maintained depolarization, Ca2+ currents slowly increase (half‐time of 35 msec or more at 25 mV) and then decline to a steady value. Decline under repolarization is rapid (half‐time of 6‐7 msec) and complete. During an action potential, the Ca2+ influx through this system is probably less than the influx observed with tracers. 4. Ba2+, Sr2+, Ca2+, Mn2+ and Mg2+ can carry current across the membrane; Ni2+ and Co2+ cannot. Ca2+ currents are weakly blocked by external Mg2+.
ASJC Scopus subject areas