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Circ Res. 1996 Jul;79(1):79-85.

Developmental changes in the delayed rectifier K+ channels in mouse heart.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Expression of cardiac transient outward current and inwardly rectifying K+ current is age dependent. However, little is known about age-related changes in cardiac delayed rectifier K+ current (IK, with rapidly and slowly activating components, IKr and IKs, respectively). Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to assess developmental changes in IK channels in fetal, neonatal, and adult mouse ventricles. Three techniques were used: conventional microelectrode to measure the action potential, voltage clamp to record macroscopic currents of IK, and radioligand assay to examine [3H]dofetilide binding sites. The extent of prolongation of action potential duration at 95% repolarization (APD95) by a selective IKr blocker, dofetilide (1 mumol/L), dramatically decreased from fetal (137% +/- 18%) to day-1 (75% +/- 29%) and day-3 (20% +/- 15%) neonatal mouse ventricular tissues (P < .01). Dofetilide did not prolong APD95 in adult myocardium. IKr is the sole component of IK in day-18 fetal mouse ventricular myocytes. However, both IKr and IKs were observed in day-1 neonatal ventricular myocytes. With further development, IKs became the dominant component of IK in day-3 neonates. In adult mouse ventricular myocytes, neither IKr nor IKs was observed. Correspondingly, a high-affinity binding site for [3H]dofetilide was present in fetal mouse ventricles but was absent in adult ventricles. The complementary data from microelectrode, voltage-clamp, and [3H]dofetilide binding studies demonstrate that expression of the IK channel is developmentally regulated in the mouse heart.

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