Ionic bases for electrophysiological distinctions among epicardial, midmyocardial, and endocardial myocytes from the free wall of the canine left ventricle.
Recent studies from our laboratory involving syncytial preparations have delineated electrophysiological distinctions between epicardium, endocardium, and a unique population of cells in the deep subepicardial to midmyocardial layers (M region) of the canine ventricle. In the present study, we used standard microelectrode, single microelectrode switch voltage-clamp, and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques to examine transmembrane action potentials, steady-state current-voltage relations, and the 4-aminopyridine-sensitive transient outward current (Ito1) in myocytes enzymatically dissociated from discrete layers of the free wall of the canine left ventricle. Action potential characteristics of myocytes isolated from the epicardium, M region, and endocardium were very similar to those previously observed in syncytial preparations isolated from the respective regions of the ventricular wall. A prominent spike and dome was apparent in myocytes from epicardium and the M region but not in myocytes from endocardium. Action potential duration-rate relations were considerably more pronounced in cells isolated from the M region. Current-voltage relations recorded from cells of epicardial, M region, and endocardial origin all displayed an N-shaped configuration with a prominent negative slope-conductance region. The magnitude of the inward rectifier K+ current (IK1) was 392 +/- 86, 289 +/- 65, and 348 +/- 115 pA in epicardial, M region, and endocardial myocytes, respectively, when defined as steady-state current blocked by 10 mM Cs+. Similar levels were obtained when IK1 was defined as the steady-state difference current measured in the presence (6 mM) and absence of extracellular K+. Ito1 was significantly greater in epicardial and M region myocytes than in endocardial myocytes. At a test potential of +70 mV (holding potential, -80 mV), Ito1 amplitude was 4,203 +/- 2,370, 3,638 +/- 1,135, and 714 +/- 286 pA in epicardial, M region, and endocardial cells, respectively. No significant differences were observed in the voltage dependence of inactivation of Ito1 in the three cell types. The time course of reactivation of Ito1 was slower in cells from the M region compared with either epicardial or endocardial cells. Our data suggest that prominent heterogeneity exists in the electrophysiology of cells spanning the canine ventricular wall and that differences in the intensity of the transient outward current contribute importantly, but not exclusively, to this heterogeneity. These findings should advance our understanding of basic heart function and the ionic bases for the electrocardiographic J wave, T wave, U wave, and long QT intervals as well as improve our understanding of some of the complex factors contributing to the development of cardiac arrhythmias.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association