Na+/Ca2+ exchanger inhibition exerts a positive inotropic effect in the rat heart, but fails to influence the contractility of the rabbit heart

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Background and purpose: The Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) may play a key role in myocardial contractility. The operation of the NCX is affected by the action potential (AP) configuration and the intracellular Na+ concentration. This study examined the effect of selective NCX inhibition by 0.1, 0.3 and 1.0 μM SEA0400 on the myocardial contractility in the setting of different AP configurations and different intracellular Na + concentrations in rabbit and rat hearts.Experimental approach: The concentration-dependent effects of SEA0400 on INa/Ca were studied in rat and rabbit ventricular cardiomyocytes using a patch clamp technique. Starling curves were constructed for isolated, Langendorff-perfused rat and rabbit hearts. The cardiac sarcolemmal NCX protein densities of both species were compared by immunohistochemistry.Key results: SEA0400 inhibited I Na/Ca with similar efficacy in the two species; there was no difference between the inhibitions of the forward or reverse mode of the NCX in either species. SEA0400 increased the systolic and the developed pressure in the rat heart in a concentration-dependent manner, for example, 1.0 μM SEA0400 increased the maximum systolic pressures by 12% relative to the control, whereas it failed to alter the contractility in the rabbit heart. No interspecies difference was found in the cardiac sarcolemmal NCX protein densities. Conclusions and implications: NCX inhibition exerted a positive inotropic effect in the rat heart, but it did not influence the contractility of the rabbit heart. This implies that the AP configuration and the intracellular Na + concentration may play an important role in the contractility response to NCX inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalBritish journal of pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2008



  • Isolated hearts
  • Myocardial contractility
  • NCX
  • NCX protein density
  • SEA0400

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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