Although late sodium current (INa-late) has long been known to contribute to plateau formation of mammalian cardiac action potentials, lately it was considered as possible target for antiarrhythmic drugs. However, many aspects of this current are still poorly understood. The present work was designed to study the true profile of INa-late in canine and guinea pig ventricular cells and compare them to INa-late recorded in undiseased human hearts. INa-late was defined as a tetrodotoxin-sensitive current, recorded under action potential voltage clamp conditions using either canonic- or self-action potentials as command signals. Under action potential voltage clamp conditions the amplitude of canine and human INa-late monotonically decreased during the plateau (decrescendo-profile), in contrast to guinea pig, where its amplitude increased during the plateau (crescendo profile). The decrescendo-profile of canine INa-late could not be converted to a crescendo-morphology by application of ramp-like command voltages or command action potentials recorded from guinea pig cells. Conventional voltage clamp experiments revealed that the crescendo INa-late profile in guinea pig was due to the slower decay of INa-late in this species. When action potentials were recorded from multicellular ventricular preparations with sharp microelectrode, action potentials were shortened by tetrodotoxin, which effect was the largest in human, while smaller in canine, and the smallest in guinea pig preparations. It is concluded that important interspecies differences exist in the behavior of INa-late. At present canine myocytes seem to represent the best model of human ventricular cells regarding the properties of INa-late. These results should be taken into account when pharmacological studies with INa-late are interpreted and extrapolated to human. Accordingly, canine ventricular tissues or myocytes are suggested for pharmacological studies with INa-late inhibitors or modifiers. Incorporation of present data to human action potential models may yield a better understanding of the role of INa-late in action potential morphology, arrhythmogenesis, and intracellular calcium dynamics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine