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J Physiol. 2001 Nov 15;537(Pt 1):151-60.

Effects of aldosterone on transient outward K+ current density in rat ventricular myocytes.

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Laboratoire de Physiopathologie Cardiovasculaire, INSERM U-390, IFR3, CHU Arnaud de Villeneuve, 34295 Montpellier, France.


1. Aldosterone, a major ionic homeostasis regulator, might also regulate cardiac ion currents. Using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we investigated whether aldosterone affects the 4-aminopyridine-sensitive transient outward K+ current (I(to1)). 2. Exposure to 100 nM aldosterone for 48 h at 37 degrees C produced a 1.6-fold decrease in the I(to1) density compared to control myocytes incubated without aldosterone. Neither the time- nor voltage-dependent properties of the current were significantly altered after aldosterone treatment. RU28318 (1 microM), a specific mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, prevented the aldosterone-induced decrease in I(to1) density. 3. When myocytes were incubated for 24 h with aldosterone, concentrations up to 1 microM did not change I(to1) density, whereas L-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca,L)) density increased. After 48 h, aldosterone caused a further increase in I(Ca,L). The delay in the I(to1) response to aldosterone might indicate that it occurs secondary to an increase in I(Ca,L). 4. After 24 h of aldosterone pretreatment, further co-incubation for 24 h either with an I(Ca,L) antagonist (100 nM nifedipine) or with a permeant Ca(2+) chelator (10 microM BAPTA-AM) prevented a decrease in I(to1) density. 5. After 48 h of aldosterone treatment, we observed a 2.5-fold increase in the occurrence of spontaneous Ca(2+) sparks, which was blunted by co-treatment with nifedipine. 6. We conclude that aldosterone decreases I(to1) density. We suggest that this decrease is secondary to the modulation of intracellular Ca(2+) signalling, which probably arises from the aldosterone-induced increase in I(Ca,L). These results provide new insights into how cardiac ionic currents are modulated by hormones.

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