The aim of this study was to investigate the cellular electrophysiological effects of ranolazine on action potential characteristics. The experiments were carried out in dog and human cardiac preparations using the conventional microelectrode technique. In dog Purkinje fibres ranolazine produced a concentration- and frequency-dependent depression of the maximum rate of depolarization (Vmax) while action potential duration (APD) was shortened. In dog and human right ventricular papillary muscle ranolazine exerted no significant effect on APD, while it produced, like mexiletine, use-dependent depression of Vmax with relatively fast onset and offset kinetics. In dog midmyocardial preparations the drug did not exert statistically significant effect on repolarization at 10 μM, although a tendency toward prolongation was observed at 20 μM. A moderate lengthening of APD90 by ranolazine was noticed in canine atrial preparations obtained from dogs in sinus rhythm and in tachypacing induced remodelled preparations. Use-dependent depression of Vmax was more pronounced in atria from dogs in sinus rhythm than those in remodelled atria or in the ventricle. These findings indicate that ranolazine, in addition to its known late sodium current blocking effect, also depresses peak INa with class I/B antiarrhythmic characteristics. Although peak INa inhibition by ranolazine is stronger in the atria, it is also substantial (at fast stimulation frequencies) in ventricular preparations. Ranolazine also decreased the dispersion of ventricular repolarization (the difference in APD90 values between Purkinje fibres and papillary muscles), which can contribute to the antiarrhythmic property of the drug.
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