Dynamics of the background outward current of single guinea pig ventricular myocytes. Ionic mechanisms of hysteresis in cardiac cells.
Subthreshold potentials are thought to be mediated by time-independent, "passive" background currents. In this study, we show that the background current-voltage (I-V) relation of guinea pig ventricular myocytes is changed significantly by repetitive stimulation, in such a way that cell excitability becomes enhanced. Myocytes were used for whole-cell voltage-clamp experiments. A voltage-clamp ramp (100 mV/sec) to -50 mV was applied from a holding potential of -100 mV. Subsequently, a train of square voltage-clamp pulses to +10 mV (duration, 300 msec; interpulse interval, 300 msec) was delivered from a holding potential of -85 mV. A new ramp was applied again immediately after the train, and the resulting I-V curve was compared with that obtained before the train. Pulsing displaced the I-V relation to the right, the zero-current point becoming 1-2 mV less negative, and increased the degree of inward-going rectification. These changes were insensitive to tetrodotoxin (30 microM); disappeared during superfusion with cobalt (2 mM), verapamil (22 microM), or ryanodine (5 microM); and could not be mimicked by agonists of the protein kinase C system. In the presence of cesium (8 mM), pulsing still displaced the I-V curve to the right. However, the linear portion of the curve became steeper after the train. Subtraction of the cesium-sensitive current from control revealed that, although the zero-current point remained constant, the I-V relation showed a stronger inward-going rectification after pulsing. In accordance with these results, we have demonstrated hysteresis of excitability in ventricular myocytes. We conclude that the observed changes are mediated by an increase in intracellular calcium, which leads to an increase in rectification of IK1, as well as to activation of another membrane-conductance system, perhaps the Na-Ca exchange or the Ca(2+)-activated, nonselective current.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association