Transmembrane action potentials and intracellular potassium activity of baboon cardiac tissues

Kenneth H. Dangman, Karl P. Dresdner, Robert E. Michler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Preparations of baboon cardiac tissue were studied using standard microelectrode and double barrelled potassium ion selective microelectrode techniques. Transmembrane action potentials were recorded from Purkinje fibres and from atrial and ventricular muscle cells. Purkinje fibres were impaled frequently on the ventricular septum but were sparse on the endocardium of the free wall. Purkinje fibres had longer action potential durations than ventricular muscle cells, and endocardial muscle cells had longer action potential durations than epicardial muscle cells. Tissue bundles resembling the false tendons of the canine heart were found in the ventricles. Most of these false tendons consisted of ventricular muscle as indicated by transmembrane action potentials. On rare occasions, false tendon preparations were studied in which the cells had action potentials similar to those of canine Purkinje fibres. In these preparations, normal automaticity occurred from maximum diastolic potentials ≥-85 mV. Intracellular potassium activity in the baboon ventricular muscle cells was 96(3) mmol·litre-1 (mean(SEM), n=32), which is lower than that reported for canine tissues but higher than that reported for feline or rabbit tissues. It is concluded that, although the cellular electrophysiology of primate and canine cardiac tissues is superficially similar, consistent and perhaps important differences do occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-212
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Baboon heart
  • Cardiac Purkinje fibres
  • Intracellular potassium activity
  • Normal automaticity
  • Transmembrane action potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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