General physiology and biophysics. vol:7 issue:4 pages:345-51
The effects of external Cd++ and Hg++ on the early outward current (IEO) in myocardial mouse cells were studied using voltage clamp with one suction pipette. Both Cd++ in the millimolar and Hg++ in the micromolar range shifted the half time to peak IEO to positive potentials more than the current amplitude after 50 ms. Incomplete blocking of IEO could be obtained by Cd++ concentrations between 10(-3) and 2 x 10(-2) mol/l and by Hg++ concentrations between 10(-6) and 5 x 10(-5) mol/l. The current-voltage relationships of IEO at peak time and at 50 ms were mainly shifted to the right by Cd++ whereas Hg++ mainly decreased the slope. At incomplete blocking concentrations Cd++ slowed down IEO activation more strongly than did Hg++. All Cd++ effects were completely reversible. The action of Hg++ was irreversible. It is concluded that both ions act directly on the gating machinery of the channels rather than simply binding to homogenous surface charges.