Muscle Cell Function Laboratory

Lab head: David Allen
Location: Anderson Stuart Building, Camperdown Campus

Research conducted by this laboratory is concerned with the regulation of intracellular ions, particularly calcium, sodium and protons, and with their effects on muscle function. This laboratory is particularly interested in situations where ionic regulation has major effects on cell function, for instance in cardiac pacemaker cells, in the heart during ischaemia and reperfusion and in skeletal muscle during fatigue. Much of the focus of this laboratory is on single cells in which ionic concentrations can be measured using fluorescent methods and study of the distribution of ionic changes using confocal microscopy.

Lab members: D Allen (head), J Kril (head)

Muscle fatigue

Primary supervisor: David Allen

The lab is developing a new approach to studying muscle fatigue which involves fatiguing whole muscles in the anaesthetized mouse. The advantage of this approach is that the muscles are intact and have their normal blood supply. The long term aim is to use genetically encoded calcium sensors (cameleons) to measure intracellular calcium which will await the arrival of the new multiphoton confocal microscope (early 2010). Immediate aims are to compare fatigue in this preparation with isolated preparations and develop methods for measuring metabolic changes. Another approach will be to compare isometric contractions with shortening contractions.

Discipline: Physiology