Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Physiol B. 2000 Jun;170(4):295-306.

Intracellular calcium and the relationship to contractility in an avian model of heart failure.

Author information

Whitaker Cardiovascular Research Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02115, USA.


Global contractile heart failure was induced in turkey poults by furazolidone feeding (700 ppm). Abnormal calcium regulation appears to be a key factor in the pathophysiology of heart failure, but the cellular mechanisms contributing to changes in calcium fluxes have not been clearly defined. Isolated ventricular myocytes from non-failing and failing hearts were therefore used to determine whether the whole heart and ventricular muscle contractile dysfunctions were realized at the single cell level. Whole cell current- and voltage-clamp techniques were used to evaluate action potential configurations and L-type calcium currents, respectively. Intracellular calcium transients were evaluated in isolated myocytes with fura-2 and in isolated left ventricular muscles using aequorin. Action potential durations were prolonged in failing myocytes, which correspond to slowed cytosolic calcium clearing. Calcium current-voltage relationships were normal in failing myocytes; preliminary evidence suggests that depressed transient outward potassium currents contribute to prolonged action potential durations. The number of calcium channels (as measured by radioligand binding) were also similar in non-failing and failing hearts. Isolated ventricular muscles from failing hearts had enhanced inotropic responses, in a dose-dependent fashion, to a calcium channel agonist (Bay K 8644). These data suggest that changes in intracellular calcium mobilization kinetics and longer calcium-myofilament interaction may be able to compensate for contractile failure. We conclude that the relationship between calcium current density and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release is a dynamic process that may be altered in the setting of heart failure at higher contraction rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center