This paper describes a model of the frog skeletal muscle fiber that includes the effects of the transverse tubular system (T system) on propagation. Uniform propagation on an isolated fiber suspended in Ringer's solution or in air is simulated by placing the cylindrical fiber model in a concentric three-dimensional isotropic volume conductor. The current through the T system outlets at the sarcolemmal surface is comparable in magnitude to the sarcolemmal current density, but is of opposite polarity. When it is added to the sarcolemmal current, the resulting triphasic waveform has a 100% increase in the leading positive peak, a 50% reduction in the negative peak, and more than 60% reduction in the trailing positive peak. As a result the tubular output current causes a reduction in the conduction velocity, a decrease in the maximum rate of rise of the action potential, and an important modification of the extracellular potential. Compared to an isolated fiber in a large volume of Ringer's solution, uniform propagation within a 2-mu m-thick volume conductor annulus is slowed down from 1.92 to 0.72 m/s, and the extracellular potential is increased from 1 to 108 mV peak to peak, in agreement with published experimental measurements.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 1997, Vol 25, Issue 1, p. 15-28