Frequency-dependent contractile response of isolated cardiac trabeculae under hypo-, normo-, and hyperthermic conditions

Nitisha Hiranandani, Kenneth D. Varian, Michelle M. Monasky, Paul M L Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The body is from time to time exposed to nonnormothermic conditions; both hypo- and hyperthermia can occur as a result of external (environment) or internal (pathogens, allergens) stressors. To preserve life under hypo- and hyperthermic conditions, adequate perfusion of vital organs is mandated. Although cardiac output regulation under hyperthermic conditions has been studied, the mechanical response of basic contractile function of the myocardium itself is incompletely understood. Accordingly, we set out to test mechanical output of isolated myocardium under hyperthermic conditions and to compare the results with the hypo- and normothermic response in the same tissue. We observed that, in absence of a frequency change, developed force decreased markedly. At a physiological normal stimulation rate of 6 Hz, developed force decreases to 67.2 ± 2.6% at 42°C compared with 37°C. In addition, twitch timing characteristics also accelerate, allowing for a faster relaxation; time from peak tension to 50% relaxation is ∼23% faster (from 31.4 ± 2.6 to 24.4 ± 1.7 ms). Although this faster relaxation in turn prevents a steep increase in diastolic tension at high frequencies, the very fast calcium kinetics now prevent a more complete activation of the myofilaments, resulting in a lower twitch-force maximum at hyperthermic conditions. Even at maximal β-adrenergic stimulation, developed force is well below levels reached at physiological temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1727-1732
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006



  • Beta-adrenergic stimulation
  • Fever
  • Force-frequency relationship
  • Isoproterenol
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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