Simultaneous measurements of action potential duration and intracellular ATP in isolated ferret hearts exposed to cyanide.
Shortening of the cardiac action potential during ischemia and anoxia is likely to contribute to the decline in contractility that occurs under such conditions. It has been hypothesized that a decrease in the intracellular ATP concentration ([ATP]i) underlies the changes in the action potential. The recently discovered potassium channel activated at low ATP concentrations might provide the link between action potential shortening and low [ATP]i. However, it has yet to be shown that [ATP]i falls to the range required for channel activation at the time when action potential shortening occurs. We have measured action potentials and [ATP]i simultaneously in isolated ferret hearts during inhibition of both oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic glycolysis (metabolic blockade). Metabolic blockade caused a rapid decline in cardiac contractility, accompanied by a rapid fall in action potential duration. [ATP]i fell only slightly and remained well above the range where activation of the ATP-sensitive K+ channel would be expected to occur. Moreover, reintroduction of glucose to the perfusate led to a substantial recovery in both contraction and in action potential duration, again in the absence of any great change in [ATP]i. These results suggest that the action potential shortening observed in metabolic blockade cannot be explained by the simple hypothesis of K+ channel opening as a consequence of a decrease in bulk [ATP]i unless the Km for suppression of channel activity by ATP is very much higher in intact cells than in any of the patch configurations studied. An alternative explanation is that the channel may be regulated under these conditions by mechanisms other than a change in [ATP]i.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association