Dual allosteric modulation of pacemaker (f) channels by cAMP and voltage in rabbit SA node. (1/896)

1. A Monod-Whyman-Changeux (MWC) allosteric reaction model was used in the attempt to describe the dual activation of 'pacemaker' f-channel gating subunits by voltage hyperpolarization and cyclic nucleotides. Whole-channel kinetics were described by assuming that channels are composed of two identical subunits gated independently according to the Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) equations. 2. The simple assumption that cAMP binding favours open channels was found to readily explain induction of depolarizing voltage shifts of open probability with a sigmoidal dependence on agonist concentration. 3. Voltage shifts of open probability were measured against cAMP concentration in macropatches of sino-atrial (SA) node cells; model fitting of dose-response relations yielded dissociation constants of 0.0732 and 0.4192 microM for cAMP binding to open and closed channels, respectively. The allosteric model correctly predicted the modification of the pacemaker current (If) time constant curve induced by 10 microM cAMP (13.7 mV depolarizing shift). 4. cAMP shifted deactivation more than activation rate constant curves, according to sigmoidal dose-response relations (maximal shifts of +22.3 and +13.4 mV at 10 microM cAMP, respectively); this feature was fully accounted for by allosteric interactions, and indicated that cAMP acts primarily by 'locking' f-channels in the open configuration. 5. These results provide an interpretation of the dual voltage- and cyclic nucleotide- dependence of f-channel activation.  (+info)

Regional differences in effects of E-4031 within the sinoatrial node. (2/896)

Effects of block of the rapid delayed rectifier K+ current (IK,r) by E-4031 on the electrical activity of small ball-like tissue preparations from different regions of the rabbit sinoatrial node were measured. The effects of partial block of IK,r by 0.1 microM E-4031 varied in different regions of the node. In tissue from the center of the node spontaneous activity was generally abolished, whereas in tissue from the periphery spontaneous activity persisted, although the action potential was prolonged, the maximum diastolic potential was decreased, and the spontaneous activity slowed. After partial block of IK,r, the electrical activity of peripheral tissue was more like that of central tissue under normal conditions. One possible explanation of these findings is that the density of IK,r is greater in the periphery of the node; this would explain the greater resistance of peripheral tissue to IK,r block and help explain why, under normal conditions, the maximum diastolic potential is more negative, the action potential is shorter, and pacemaking is faster in the periphery.  (+info)

Contribution of L-type Ca2+ current to electrical activity in sinoatrial nodal myocytes of rabbits. (3/896)

The role of L-type calcium current (ICa,L) in impulse generation was studied in single sinoatrial nodal myocytes of the rabbit, with the use of the amphotericin-perforated patch-clamp technique. Nifedipine, at a concentration of 5 microM, was used to block ICa,L. At this concentration, nifedipine selectively blocked ICa,L for 81% without affecting the T-type calcium current (ICa,T), the fast sodium current, the delayed rectifier current (IK), and the hyperpolarization-activated inward current. Furthermore, we did not observe the sustained inward current. The selective action of nifedipine on ICa,L enabled us to determine the activation threshold of ICa,L, which was around -60 mV. As nifedipine (5 microM) abolished spontaneous activity, we used a combined voltage- and current-clamp protocol to study the effects of ICa,L blockade on repolarization and diastolic depolarization. This protocol mimics the action potential such that the repolarization and subsequent diastolic depolarization are studied in current-clamp conditions. Nifedipine significantly decreased action potential duration at 50% repolarization and reduced diastolic depolarization rate over the entire diastole. Evidence was found that recovery from inactivation of ICa,L occurs during repolarization, which makes ICa,L available already early in diastole. We conclude that ICa,L contributes significantly to the net inward current during diastole and can modulate the entire diastolic depolarization.  (+info)

Electrophysiological effects of mexiletine in man. (4/896)

The electrophysiological effects of intravenous mexiletine in a dose of 200 to 250 mg given over 5 minutes, followed by continuous infusion of 60 to 90 mg per hour, were studied in 5 patients with normal conduction and in 20 patients with a variety of disturbances of impulse formation and conduction, by means of His bundle electrography, atrial pacing, and the extrastimulus method. In all but 2 patients the plasma level was above the lower therapeutic limit. Mexiletine had no consistent effects on sinus frequency and atrial refractoriness. The sinoatrial recovery time changed inconsistently in both directions; however, of the 5 patients in whom an increase was evident, 3 had sinus node dysfunction. In most patients mexiletine increased the AV nodal conduction time at paced atrial rates and shifted the Wenckebach point to a lower atrial rate. The effective refractory period of the AV node was not consistently influenced, while the functional refractory period increased in 12 out of 14 patients. The HV intervals increased by a mean of 11 ms in 8 patients and were unchanged in 17. Both the relative and effective refractory period of the His-Purkinje system increased after mexiletine. Non-cardiac side effects occurred in 7 out of 25 patients, and cardiac side effects, including one serious, in 2. The results indicate that mexiletine shares some electrophysiological properties with procainamide and quinidine, when given to patients with conduction defects, and that the drug should not be used in patients with pre-existing impairment of impulse formation or conduction. It has additional effects on AV nodal conduction which may be of value in the treatment of re-entrant tachycardias involving the AV node.  (+info)

The nerve supply and conducting system of the human heart at the end of the embryonic period proper. (5/896)

The nerve supply and conducting system were studied in a stage 23 human embryo of exceptional histological quality. The nerves on the right side arose from cervical sympathetic and from cervical and thoracic vagal filaments. Out of their interconnexions vagoxympathetic nerves emerged, which (1) sent a branch in front of the trachea to the aorticopulmonary ganglion, thereby supplying arterial and venous structures, and (2) formed the right sinal nerve, which supplied the sinu-atrial node, and gave filaments to the interatrial septum which could be traced to the atrioventricular node and pulmonary veins. The nerves on the left side arose similarly from cervical sympathetic and from cervical and thoracic vagal filaments. These formed several descending, ganglionated, vagosympathetic filaments that descended to the right of the arch of the aorta and entered the aorticopulmonary ganglion. Filaments leaving the ganglion supplied the pulmonary trunk, ascending aorta, interatrial septum, pulmonary veins, and, as the left sinal nerve, the fold of the left vena cava. The thoracic vagal filaments descended to the left of the arch of the aorta and supplied chiefly the arterial end of the heart. No thoracic sympathetic cardiac filaments were found. The sinu-atrial node began as a crescentic mass in front of the lower part of the superior vena cava. It gradually extended on each side of the superior vena cava and came to form its posterior wall at a more caudal level. The atrial myocardium that formed the septum spurium, venous valves, and interatrial septum could be traced from the sinu-atrial to the atrioventricular node. Myocardium also encircled the atrial aspects of the atrioventricular orifices, and could be traced caudally to the atrioventricular nde. The atrioventricular node was a conspicuous mass in the anterior and lower part of the interatrial septum, from which a clearly defined bundle left to enter the interventricular septum. Right and left limbs were observed, the former being a rounded bundle that passed immediately in front of the root of the aorta.  (+info)

Defibrillation-guided radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation secondary to an atrial focus. (6/896)

OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to evaluate a potential focal source of atrial fibrillation (AF) by unmasking spontaneous early reinitiation of AF after transvenous atrial defibrillation (TADF), and to describe a method of using repeated TADF to map and ablate the focus. BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation may develop secondary to a rapidly discharging atrial focus that the atria cannot follow synchronously, with suppression of the focus once AF establishes. Focus mapping and radiofrequency (RF) ablation may be curative but is limited if the patient is in AF or if the focus is quiescent. Early reinitiation of AF has been observed following defibrillation, which might have a focal mechanism. METHODS: We performed TADF in patients with drug-refractory lone AF using electrodes in the right atrium (RA) and the coronary sinus. When reproducible early reinitiation of AF within 2 min after TADF was observed that exhibited a potential focal mechanism, both mapping and RF ablation were performed to suppress AF reinitiation. Clinical and ambulatory ECG monitoring was used to assess AF recurrence. RESULTS: A total of 44 lone AF patients (40 men, 4 women; 32 persistent, 12 paroxysmal AF) with a mean age of 58+/-13 years underwent TADF. Sixteen patients had early reinitiation of AF after TADF, nine (20%; 5 paroxysmal) exhibited a pattern of focal reinitiation. Earliest atrial activation was mapped to the right superior (n = 4) and the left superior (n = 3) pulmonary vein, just inside the orifice, in the seven patients who underwent further study. At the onset of AF reinitiation, the site of earliest activation was 86+/-38 ms ahead of the RA reference electrogram. The atrial activities from this site were fragmented and exhibited progressive cycle-length shortening with decremental conduction to the rest of the atrium until AF reinitiated. Radiofrequency ablation at the earliest activation site resulted in suppression of AF reinitiation despite pace-inducibility. Improved clinical outcome was observed over 8+/-4 months' follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Transvenous atrial defibrillation can help to unmask, map, and ablate a potential atrial focus in patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF. A consistent atrial focus is the cause of early reinitiation of AF in 20% of patients with lone AF, and these patients may benefit from this technique.  (+info)

Heterogeneity of 4-aminopyridine-sensitive current in rabbit sinoatrial node cells. (7/896)

The electrophysiological properties of sinoatrial (SA) node pacemaker cells vary in different regions of the node. In this study, we have investigated variation of the 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)-sensitive current as a function of the size (as measured by the cell capacitance) of SA node cells to elucidate the ionic mechanisms. The 10 mM 4-AP-sensitive current recorded from rabbit SA node cells was composed of transient and sustained components (Itrans and Isus, respectively). The activation and inactivation properties [activation: membrane potential at which conductance is half-maximally activated (Vh) = 19.3 mV, slope factor (k) = 15.0 mV; inactivation: Vh = -31.5 mV, k = 7.2 mV] as well as the density of Itrans (9.0 pA/pF on average at +50 mV) were independent of cell capacitance. In contrast, the density of Isus (0.97 pA/pF on average at +50 mV) was greater in larger cells, giving rise to a significant correlation with cell capacitance. The greater density of Isus in larger cells (presumably from the periphery) can explain the shorter action potential in the periphery of the SA node compared with that in the center. Thus variation of the 4-AP-sensitive current may be involved in regional differences in repolarization within the SA node.  (+info)

Contribution of baroreceptors and chemoreceptors to ventricular hypertrophy produced by sino-aortic denervation in rats. (8/896)

1. To test whether sino-aortic denervation (SAD)-induced right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) is a consequence of baroreceptor or chemoreceptor denervation, we compared the effects of aortic denervation (AD), carotid denervation (CD), SAD and a SAD procedure modified to spare the carotid chemoreceptors (mSAD), 6 weeks after denervation surgery in rats. A sham surgery group served as the control. 2. The blood pressure (BP) level was unaffected by AD, CD or SAD, but increased (9 %) following mSAD. The mean heart rate level was not affected. Short-term BP variability was elevated following AD (81 %), SAD (144 %) and mSAD (146 %), but not after CD. Baroreflex heart rate responses to phenylephrine were attenuated in all denervation groups. 3. Significant RVH occurred only following CD and SAD. These procedures also produced high mortality (CD and SAD) and significant increases in right ventricular pressures and haematocrit (CD). 4. Significant left ventricular hypertrophy occurred following CD, SAD and mSAD. Normalized left ventricular weight was significantly correlated with indices of BP variability. 5. These results suggest that SAD-induced RVH is a consequence of chemoreceptor, not baroreceptor, denervation. Our results also demonstrate that a mSAD procedure designed to spare the carotid chemoreceptors produced profound baroreflex dysfunction and significant left, but not right, ventricular hypertrophy.  (+info)