Effects of Propranolol on the Transmembrane Potentials of Ventricular Muscle and Purkinje Fibers of the Dog
Papillary muscle-false tendon tissue preparations isolated from dog hearts were perfused with Tyrode's solution containing propranolol in concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 20.0 mg/liter. Transmembrane action potentials of both ventricular muscle fibers and Purkinje fibers were recorded. With sufficient concentration of drug, the velocity of the upstroke and the overshoot of both fiber types decreased. The curve relating upstroke velocity to level of membrane potential for Purkinje fibers was displaced to the right and down. The ability of both ventricular muscle fibers and Purkinje fibers to respond to rapid frequencies of stimulation was decreased. Repolarization of Purkinje fibers was accelerated by propranolol, but repolarization of ventricular muscle fibers was unaffected. Duration of the effective refractory period of Purkinje fibers decreased; that of ventricular muscle fibers was unchanged. Graded responses and decremental impulse conduction in Purkinje fibers were abolished in the presence of propranolol. Low doses of propranolol which caused no change in the transmembrane potential completely blocked the increase in Purkinje diastolic depolarization normally induced by epinephrine. The possible mechanisms by which propranolol might exert its antiarrhythmic actions on ventricular arrhythmias were discussed.
- diastolic depolarization
- cardiac arrhythmias
- rapid electrical stimulation
- effective refractory period
- Accepted March 18, 1968.
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.