Action potential changes under varied [Na+]0 and [Ca2+]0 indicating the existence of two inward currents in cells of the rabbit atrioventricular node.
In the perfused rabbit heart,the upstroke of the transmembrane action potential of fibers of the atrioventricular (AV) node presents two distinct components. The first depends strongly on extracellular sdoium concentration, but the degree to which it is activated is influenced by extracellular calcium, as indicated by the correlation between its Vmax and [Ca2+]0. The second component depends on calcium and sodium concentrations and is blocked by Mn ions. An analysis comparing action potentials from atrial (A), atrionodal (AN), and nodal (N) fibers shows that the second component of the upstroke of the action potential contributes 12%, 27%, and 34% to the total depolarization. The results suggest that the upstroke of the nodal action potential results from the activation of two inward currents, as in ordinary cardiac fibers. We postulate that (1) the degree of steady state inactivation of gNa is larger in N than in A fibers because of the low resting potential of the former, and (2) the contribution of the second channel to the upstroke depends on the time course of the previous depolarization and the potential level at which this component is activated.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association