Propagation through electrically coupled cells. Effects of regional changes in membrane properties.
The normal process of excitation of the heart involves propagation of action potentials through cardiac regions of different anatomy and different intrinsic membrane properties. Although our understanding of these properties is still incomplete, it is well accepted that the parameters measured from a single cell penetration in an electrical syncytium (e.g., action potential duration, rate of rise, and velocity) reflect not only the properties of that cell but also the electrotonic interactions with other cells to which the recorded cell is electrically coupled. We have used simulation techniques to predict the spatial distribution of action potential parameters resulting from discretely localized alterations in the intrinsic membrane properties of some of the cells of an electrical syncytium. We have shown that the resulting spatial distribution is markedly different for alterations in plateau and pacemaker currents vs. rising phase currents, and that other factors, such as the site of stimulation and the underlying spatial pattern of cell-cell coupling resistance, also modify the spatial distribution of action potential properties resulting from a discrete regional change in intrinsic membrane properties.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association