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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1977 Feb;200(2):363-72.

The effects of grayanotoxin I and alpha-dihydrograyanotoxin II on guinea-pig myocardium.


We have demonstrated recently that grayanotoxin I (GTX I) produces a positive inotropic effect in isolated guinea-pig atria. In order to determine whether this effect of GTX I is related to the reported action of this compound to increase the sodium permeability of cytoplasmic membranes, the effect of GTX I and alpha-dihydrograyanotoxin II (alpha-2H-GTX II) on electrical and mechanical properties and transmembrane cation movements were studied in guinea-pig myocardium. In electrically driven guinea-pig left atrial preparations, both grayanotoxins produced a slight depolarization and appear to decrease the upstroke velocity of the action potential, with a concomitant increase in isometric contractile force in the presence or absence of propranolol. Pretreatment with propranolol shifted the dose-response curves for the inotropic effect of both grayanotoxins slightly to the right. The magnitudes of changes in the electrical and mechanical properties induced by GTX I and alpha-2H-GTX II were similar. The rate of development and subsequent washout of the positive inotropic effects, however, was faster with alpha-2H-GTX II than with GTX I, consistent with a previous report that the action of alpha-2H-GTX II to increase membrane sodium permeability develops more rapidly than that of GTX I. At higher concentrations, both grayanotoxins produced arrhythmias. Arrhythmias induced by GTX I were characterized by extrasystoles whereas those induced by alpha-2H-GTX II were characterized by initial extrasystoles followed by a failure of the atria to follow electrical stimulation. Positive inotropic and arrhythmic effects of both grayanotoxins were reversible after the washout of the drug. Both types of arrhythmias produced by either GTX I or alpha-2H-GTX II were reversed by tetrodotoxin, an agent which has been demonstrated to antagonize the action of the grayanotoxins to increase membrane sodium permeability. Although both grayanotoxins had no marked effect on partially purified Na+, K+-adenosine triphosphatase, they produced dose-dependent increases in ouabain-sensitive 86Rb uptake of ventricular slices under conditions in which the intracellular sodium concentration determines the rate of active monovalent cation transport by the Na+, K+-adenosine triphosphatase system. These data suggest that the positive inotropic effects of grayanotoxins are due to an increased membrane sodium permeability and are consistent with a hypothesis that alterations in transmembrane sodium movements result in an altered myocardial contractility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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