Effect of electrotonic potentials on pacemaker activity of canine Purkinje fibers in relation to parasystole.
Isolated false tendons excised form dog hearts were mounted in a three-chamber tissue bath. Isotonic sucrose solution was perfused in the central chamber to provide a region of depressed conductivity between the fiber segments in chambers 1 and 3, which were perfused with Tyrode's solution. The electrotonic influence of spontaneous or driven responses evoked in chamber 3 during the first half of the spontaneous cycle of a chamber 1 peacemaker delayed the next spontaneous discharge. This effect changed to acceleration when the chamber 3 segment fired during the second half of the spontaneous cycle. We found that subthreshold depolarizing current pulses 50-300 msec applied across the sucrose gap caused similar degrees of delay or acceleration. Furthermore, hyperpolarizing currents caused the reverse pattern. The results indicate that the discharge pattern of a parasystolic focus may be altered by the electrotonic influence of activity in the surrounding tissue. The significance of these findings is considered in relation to the mechanism of production of parasystolic rhythms.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association