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Vascul Pharmacol. 2009 Nov-Dec;51(5-6):350-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2009.09.002. Epub 2009 Oct 6.

Alendronate affects calcium dynamics in cardiomyocytes in vitro.

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  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B2.

Abstract

Therapy with bisphosphonates, including alendronate (ALN), is considered a safe and effective treatment for osteoporosis. However, recent studies have reported an unexpected increase in serious atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients treated with bisphosphonates. The mechanism that explains this side effect remains unknown. Since AF is associated with an altered sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium load, we studied how ALN affects cardiomyocyte calcium homeostasis and protein isoprenylation in vitro. Acute and long-term (48h) treatment of atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes with ALN (10(-8)-10(-6)M) was performed. Changes in calcium dynamics were determined by both fluorescence measurement of cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration and western blot analysis of calcium-regulating proteins. Finally, effect of ALN on protein farnesylation was also identified. In both atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes, ALN treatment delayed and diminished calcium responses to caffeine. Only in atrial cells, long-term exposure to ALN-induced transitory calcium oscillations and led to the development of oscillatory component in calcium responses to caffeine. Changes in calcium dynamics were accompanied by changes in expression of proteins controlling sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium. In contrast, ALN minimally affected protein isoprenylation in these cells. In summary, treatment of atrial cardiomyocytes with ALN-induced abnormalities in calcium dynamics consistent with induction of a self-stimulatory, pacemaker-like behavior, which may contribute to the development of cardiac side effects associated with these drugs.

PMID:
19815094
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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