To evaluate a Ca-sensitive component of the transient outward current, we studied action potentials, isometric tension, and membrane currents (single sucrose gap voltage clamp) of rabbit ventricular heart muscle in the presence of Ryanodine that selectively blocks the intracellular Ca release. Ryanodine (1 microM) prolonged the post rest (10 s) action potential, abolished the "notch" preceding the plateau phase, and depressed the isometric tension. With the same protocol a diminished transient outward current was measured. Application of 1 mM 4-aminopyridine in the presence of Ryanodine further prolonged the duration of the action potential, decreased the transient outward current but increased the maximal tension. It is concluded that in rabbit ventricular myocardium both a Ca-dependent component and a 4-aminopyridine sensitive component compose the transient outward current; however, the 4-aminopyridine sensitive component is dominating.