The effect of terbutaline (a beta 2-adrenergic agonist) on high-frequency fatigue (HFF) was studied in small bundles of rat soleus muscle fibers. HFF, the decline in force during continuous stimulation (50 Hz for 20 s), was reduced by 10-20% with 10 microM terbutaline. A similar reduction in HFF with 2 mM dibutyryl-adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (DBcAMP) implicated adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) as the second messenger in the terbutaline effect. Sodium (Na-K)-pump inhibition with 1 mM ouabain depressed peak tetanic force but did not significantly alter either the subsequent fatigue or the effect of terbutaline on fatigue. This suggested that the pump was neither rate limiting in HFF nor involved in the terbutaline effect. Nevertheless, a significant hyperpolarization recorded with terbutaline implied that beta 2-adrenoceptor activation stimulated the Na-K pump at rest. Caffeine (1 mM) slowed HFF and prevented additional effects with terbutaline. Caffeine is known to potentiate Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), and we suggest that terbutaline, acting via cAMP, facilitates Ca2+ release from the SR to better maintain myoplasmic Ca2+ concentration during continuous tetanic stimulation.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society