Evolution of rhythms during periodic stimulation of embryonic chick heart cell aggregates.
During periodic stimulation of spontaneously beating chick heart cell aggregates, there is often an evolution of coupling patterns between the stimulator and the aggregate action potential. For example, at rapid stimulation frequencies, a rhythm that is initially 1:1 (stimulus frequency:aggregate frequency) can evolve to other rhythms such as 5:4 and 4:3. Time-dependent effects generated during periodic stimulation are characterized by three types of experiments to determine 1) the effect of periodic stimulation on the intrinsic cardiac beat rate (overdrive suppression), 2) the effect of periodic stimulation on the phase resetting properties of the aggregate, and 3) the time-dependent changes in the coupling patterns between the stimulator and the aggregate during periodic stimulation. The protocols involved variations in the duration and rate of periodic stimulation. A mathematical model is developed in the form of a two-dimensional finite difference equation based on the data from experiments 1 and 2. The model is used to predict the data generated by experiment 3. There is good correspondence with the experiments in that the theory reproduces complex transitions between various rhythms and displays irregular rhythms similar to those observed experimentally. These results have implications for the evolution of cardiac arrhythmias such as atrioventricular heart block and modulated parasystole.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association