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Depletion of ATP Limits Membrane Excitability of Skeletal Muscle by Increasing Both ClC1-Open Probability and Membrane Conductance

  • Leermakers, Pieter Arnold1
  • Dybdahl, Kamilla Løhde Tordrup1
  • Husted, Kristian Søborg1
  • Riisager, Anders1
  • de Paoli, Frank Vincenzo1
  • Pinós, Tomàs2, 3
  • Vissing, John4
  • Krag, Thomas Oliver Brøgger4
  • Pedersen, Thomas Holm1
  • 1 Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus , (Denmark)
  • 2 Mitochondrial and Neuromuscular Disorders Unit, Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona , (Spain)
  • 3 Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid , (Spain)
  • 4 Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen Neuromuscular Center, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen , (Denmark)
Published Article
Frontiers in Neurology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jun 19, 2020
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00541
PMID: 32655483
PMCID: PMC7325937
PubMed Central


Activation of skeletal muscle contractions require that action potentials can be excited and propagated along the muscle fibers. Recent studies have revealed that muscle fiber excitability is regulated during repeated firing of action potentials by cellular signaling systems that control the function of ion channel that determine the resting membrane conductance ( G m ). In fast-twitch muscle, prolonged firing of action potentials triggers a marked increase in G m , reducing muscle fiber excitability and causing action potential failure. Both ClC-1 and KATP ion channels contribute to this G m rise, but the exact molecular regulation underlying their activation remains unclear. Studies in expression systems have revealed that ClC-1 is able to bind adenosine nucleotides, and that low adenosine nucleotide levels result in ClC-1 activation. In three series of experiments, this study aimed to explore whether ClC-1 is also regulated by adenosine nucleotides in native skeletal muscle fibers, and whether the adenosine nucleotide sensitivity of ClC-1 could explain the rise in G m muscle fibers during prolonged action potential firing. First, whole cell patch clamping of mouse muscle fibers demonstrated that ClC-1 activation shifted in the hyperpolarized direction when clamping pipette solution contained 0 mM ATP compared with 5 mM ATP. Second, three-electrode G m measurement during muscle fiber stimulation showed that glycolysis inhibition, with 2-deoxy-glucose or iodoacetate, resulted in an accelerated and rapid >400% G m rise during short periods of repeated action potential firing in both fast-twitch and slow-twitch rat, and in human muscle fibers. Moreover, ClC-1 inhibition with 9-anthracenecarboxylic acid resulted in either an absence or blunted G m rise during action potential firing in human muscle fibers. Third, G m measurement during repeated action potential firing in muscle fibers from a murine McArdle disease model suggest that the rise in G m was accelerated in a subset of fibers. Together, these results are compatible with ClC-1 function being regulated by the level of adenosine nucleotides in native tissue, and that the channel operates as a sensor of skeletal muscle metabolic state, limiting muscle excitability when energy status is low.

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