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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jun 22;284(4):1048-55.

Effects of endothelin-1 on K(+) currents from rat ventricular myocytes.

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Cardiac Physiology, Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, The Rayne Institute, St. Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7EH, United Kingdom.


It has been suggested that the positive inotropic effect of the vasoactive peptide hormone, endothelin-1 (ET-1), involves inhibition of cardiac K(+) currents. In order to identify the K(+) currents modulated by ET-1, the outward K(+) currents of isolated rat ventricular myocytes were investigated using whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques. Outward currents were elicited by depolarisation to +40 mV for 200 ms from the holding potential of -60 mV. Currents activated rapidly, reaching a peak (I(pk)) of 1310 +/- 115 pA and subsequently inactivating to an outward current level of 1063 +/- 122 pA at the end of the voltage-pulse (I(late)) (n = 11). ET-1 (20 nM) reduced I(pk) by 247.6 +/- 60.7 pA (n = 11, P < 0.01) and reduced I(late) by 323.2 +/- 43.9 pA (P < 0.001). The effects of ET-1 were abolished in the presence of the nonselective ET receptor antagonist, PD 142893 (10 microM, n = 5). Outward currents were considerably reduced and the effects of ET-1 were not observed when K(+) was replaced with Cs(+) in the experimental solutions; this indicates that ET-1 modulated K(+)-selective currents. A double-pulse protocol was used to investigate the inactivation of the currents. The voltage-dependent inactivation of the currents from potentials positive to -80 mV was fitted by a Boltzmann equation revealing the existence of an inactivating transient outward component (I(to)) and a noninactivating steady-state component (I(ss)). ET-1 markedly inhibited I(ss) by 43.0 +/- 3.8% (P < 0.001, n = 7) and shifted the voltage-dependent inactivation of I(to) by +3.3 +/- 1.2 mV (P < 0.05). Although ET-1 had little effect on the onset of inactivation of the currents elicited from a conditioning potential of -70 mV, the time-independent noninactivating component of the currents was markedly inhibited. In conclusion, the predominant effect of ET-1 was to inhibit a noninactivating steady-state background K(+) current (I(ss)). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that I(ss) inhibition contributes to the inotropic effects of ET-1.

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