Verapamil preserves myocardial contractility in the hereditary cardiomyopathy of the Syrian hamster.
We attempted to alter the inherited myocardial damage and loss of contractility of the cardiomyopathic Syrian hamster (strain U-MX7-1) by giving cardiac drugs that altered intracellular calcium and myocardial workload. Thirty-seven 21-day-old cardiomyopathic and thirty-seven 21-day-old normal hamsters were divided into five groups each: verapamil-, propranolol-, digoxin-, hydralazine-, and saline-injected. On their 90th day of life, the hamsters were killed. Of the five cardiomyopathic groups, only verapamil reduced myocardial damage. When both "control" and cardiomyopathic hamsters were treated with saline, digoxin, or propranolol, the cardiomyopathic hamsters had significantly less contractile force, maximal rate of force development, and maximum velocity of unloaded shortening. When both groups were treated with verapamil or hydralazine, there were no significant group differences in the indices of contractility. However, when saline-treated cardiomyopathic hamsters were compared with drug-treated cardiomyopathic hamsters, only verapamil preserved myocardial contractility. There was also a weak correlation between the Vmax and the actin-activated ATPase activity of the cardiomyopathic hamsters (r = 0.63, P less than 0.001). We conclude that verapamil helped protect the myocardium of genetically cardiomyopathic hamsters against structural damage, and helped preserve myocardial contractility.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association