Electrical properties of canine subendocardial Purkinje fibers surviving in 1-day-old experimental myocardial infarction.
The passive electrical properties of subendocardial Purkinje fibers surviving in infarcted regions of canine ventricle 24 hours after coronary ligation were studied by using microelectrode techniques and cable theory. In normal hearts, cells within the subendocardial Purkinje fiber strands were found to be well coupled to each other but electrically isolated from neighboring myocardium. Voltage response to intracellular current injection was consistent with one-dimensional cable behavior and yielded estimates of passive electrical properties in general agreement with previous work on free-running Purkinje strands (membrane length constant, 1.2 +/- 0.1 mm; membrane time constant, 7.3 +/- 0.8 msec; input resistance, 67.4 +/- 7.4 K omega; membrane resistance, 8.2 +/- 0.7 K omega.cm; axial resistance, 0.52 +/- 0.06 M omega/cm; membrane capacitance, 960 +/- 102 nF/cm) (n = 21). On the day after coronary ligation, subendocardial Purkinje fiber action potentials were prolonged and slightly depolarized. Significant increases were measured in input resistance (+40.5%), membrane resistance (+43.9%), and axial resistance (+47.5%), whereas membrane capacitance was found to be significantly decreased (-24.3%) (n = 19). Conduction velocity, membrane length constant, membrane time constant, and the time constant and capacitance for the foot of the action potential remained unchanged. These results are consistent with electrical uncoupling between adjacent cells, which will increase internal resistivity, accompanied by changes in cellular phospholipid content, which can increase membrane resistance and alter membrane capacitance. Alternatively, the results can be explained by a simple model in which the apparent electrical structure is altered by changes in electrical coupling alone, with specific electrical properties remaining constant. Although the mechanisms underlying the observed changes remain uncertain, the present study indicates that myocardial infarction is associated with alterations in the passive electrical structure of surviving subendocardial Purkinje fibers, which, together with changes in action potential configuration, may provide a substrate for the generation of ventricular arrhythmias 24 hours after coronary ligation.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association