Action potential transfer in cell pairs isolated from adult rat and guinea pig ventricles.
An enzymatic procedure was used to obtain ventricular cells from adult rat and guinea pig hearts. Isolated pairs of cells were selected to study the action potential transfer from cell to cell and determine the resistance of the nexal membrane, rn. For this purpose, each cell of a cell pair was connected to a patch pipette so as to enable whole-cell, tight-seal recording. Normal impulse transmission was observed when rn ranged from 5-265 M omega. In these cases, the action potential in both cells occurred virtually simultaneously. An occasional failure in action potential transfer was seen in cell pairs whose rn had increased to 155-375 M omega. In these cases, the impulse transfer across the nexal membrane occurred with considerable delay. Impulse transfer was completely blocked once rn was larger than 780 M omega. Assuming a single connexon conductance of 100 pS, this would mean that more than 13 connexons are necessary to allow impulse transfer from cell to cell. Two single myocytes, gently pushed together, neither showed electrotonic interaction nor impulse transfer, thus rendering unlikely the possibility of an ephaptic signal transmission.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association