Elevated myoplasmic calcium in exercise-induced equine rhabdomyolysis

Pflugers Arch. 1995 Jun;430(2):293-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00374661.


Exertional rhabdomyolysis is a myopathy of unknown pathophysiology. We measured intracellular resting calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) by means of Ca(2+)-selective microelectrodes in intercostal muscle fibers from horses suffering from rhabdomyolysis, and from horses with no evidence of neuromuscular disorder. [Ca2+]i was several-fold higher in muscle fibers from horses suffering from rhabdomyolysis when compared to controls. Treatment of rhabdomyolytic horses with dantrolene, an agent that prevents Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, reduced [Ca2+]i toward control values, and accelerated the recovery from this myopathy. These results indicate that an acute episode of rhabdomyolysis is associated with elevation in [Ca2+]i in skeletal muscles, and that dantrolene might be of benefit in treating this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Dantrolene / therapeutic use
  • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
  • Horse Diseases / etiology
  • Horse Diseases / metabolism*
  • Horses
  • Microelectrodes
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Rhabdomyolysis / etiology
  • Rhabdomyolysis / metabolism
  • Rhabdomyolysis / veterinary*
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism


  • Dantrolene
  • Calcium