Background and Purpose Augmented Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) activity may play a crucial role in cardiac arrhythmogenesis; however, data regarding the anti-arrhythmic efficacy of NCX inhibition are debatable. Feasible explanations could be the unsatisfactory selectivity of NCX inhibitors and/or the dependence of the experimental model on the degree of Ca2+i overload. Hence, we used NCX inhibitors SEA0400 and the more selective ORM10103 to evaluate the efficacy of NCX inhibition against arrhythmogenic Ca2+i rise in conditions when [Ca2+]i was augmented via activation of the late sodium current (INaL) or inhibition of the Na+/K+ pump.
Experimental Approach Action potentials (APs) were recorded from canine papillary muscles and Purkinje fibres by microelectrodes. NCX current (INCX) was determined in ventricular cardiomyocytes utilizing the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Ca2+i transients (CaTs) were monitored with a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye, Fluo-4.
Key Results Enhanced INaL increased the Ca2+ load and AP duration (APD). SEA0400 and ORM10103 suppressed INCX and prevented/reversed the anemone toxin II (ATX-II)-induced [Ca2+]i rise without influencing APD, CaT or cell shortening, or affecting the ATX-II-induced increased APD. ORM10103 significantly decreased the number of strophanthidin-induced spontaneous diastolic Ca2+ release events; however, SEA0400 failed to restrict the veratridine-induced augmentation in Purkinje-ventricle APD dispersion.
Conclusions and Implications Selective NCX inhibition - presumably by blocking revINCX (reverse mode NCX current) - is effective against arrhythmogenesis caused by [Na+]i-induced [Ca2+]i elevation, without influencing the AP waveform. Therefore, selective INCX inhibition, by significantly reducing the arrhythmogenic trigger activity caused by the perturbed Ca2+i handling, should be considered as a promising anti-arrhythmic therapeutic strategy.
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