The effect of procaine amide on components of excitability in long mammalian cardiac Purkinje fibers.
The microelectrode technique of intracellular constant current application and intracellular transmembrane voltage recording was used to study the effects of procaine amide (PA) on cardiac excitability. We measured the effect of PA in a concentration equivalent to clinically effective antiarrhythmic plasma levels (5 mug/ml), on nonnormalized and normalized strength-duration and charge-duration curves, membrane characteristics, and cable properties in long sheep Purkinje fibers in normal Tyrode's solution with [K+]0 = 4.0 mM. PA exerted a complex action and influenced passive resistance-capacitance (RC) and active generator properties by decreasing membrane conductance, primarily membrane sodium conductance. Whether PA increased or decreased excitability depended on the relative contribution of the drug-induced alterations in passive and active membrane properties. These findings may explain, in part, the conflicting results of studies on cardiac excitability in the whole animal, as well as the clinical observation that PA may exert both artiarrhythmic and arrhythmogenic effects. The primary mechanism by which PA modifies excitability would seem to differ considerably from that of the structurally similar local anesthetic agent lidocaine.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association