The effect of acetylcholine on automaticity of Purkinje fibers was studied in isolated canine false tendon preparations with conventional microelectrode techniques. Of 15 preparations with the control spontaneous rate of 12-60 beats/min, acetylcholine in a concentration of 0.5 mug/ml decreased the spontaneous rate by 20-87% in 13 preparations. This decrease in automaticity was due to a decrease in the slope of phase 4 depolarization and an increase in the maximum diastolic potential. The inhibitory effect of acetylcholine could be reversed by atropine in a concentration of 3 mug/ml in six preparations and prevented by pretreatment with atropine in another six preparations. Atropine per se did not have any appreciable effect on automaticity of Purkinje fibers. The results indicate that acetylcholine significantly suppresses automaticity of canine Purkinje fibers through its muscarinic action.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society