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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2000 Oct;279(4):H1898-905.

Effect of milrinone on left ventricular relaxation and Ca(2+) uptake function of cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.


Milrinone, a phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitor, is known to enhance left ventricular (LV) contractility by an inhibition of the breakdown of cAMP through the mechanism inhibiting PDE3. However, it is unclear whether milrinone also exerts positive lusitropy, like dobutamine. Here, we assessed the effects of milrinone on in vivo LV relaxation, as well as the Ca(2+)-ATPase activity and the Ca(2+) uptake function of the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), compared with the effect of dobutamine on those functions. After dobutamine (3 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1)) was administered, the peak value of the first derivative of LV pressure (+dP/dt) increased by 46%, whereas the time constant (tau) of LV pressure decay decreased by 6.9%, respectively. After milrinone (10 microg/kg) was administered, the peak +dP/dt increased to a similar extent as dobutamine (46%), whereas tau decreased much more than dobutamine (19.9%; P < 0.05). In LV crude homogenate, the thapsigargin-sensitive, Ca(2+)-ATPase activity-cAMP relationships was significantly less increased by milrinone compared with dobutamine (P < 0.05), indicating the higher sensitivity of the SR Ca(2+)-ATPase activity on cAMP by milrinone than by dobutamine. In the SR vesicles purified from LV muscles, the addition of cAMP increased the SR Ca(2+) uptake in a dose-dependent fashion, and the PDE3 inhibitors (milrinone and cGMP) significantly augmented this response (P < 0.05). Hence, milrinone substantially improved LV relaxation in association with an acceleration of the SR Ca(2+)-ATPase activity and the SR Ca(2+) uptake. This acceleration might be due to an inhibition of the membrane-bound PDE3 in the SR, leading to a local elevation of cAMP.

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