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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 Mar;286(3):H1154-69. Epub 2003 Nov 20.

A model of graded calcium release and L-type Ca2+ channel inactivation in cardiac muscle.

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Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, Univ. at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


We have developed a model of Ca(2+) handling in ferret ventricular myocytes. This model includes a novel L-type Ca(2+) channel, detailed intracellular Ca(2+) movements, and graded Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR). The model successfully reproduces data from voltage-clamp experiments, including voltage- and time-dependent changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)), L-type Ca(2+) channel current (I(CaL)) inactivation and recovery kinetics, and Ca(2+) sparks. The development of graded CICR is critically dependent on spatial heterogeneity and the physical arrangement of calcium channels in opposition to ryanodine-sensitive release channels. The model contains spatially distinct subsystems representing the subsarcolemmal regions where the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) abuts the T-tubular membrane and where the L-type Ca(2+) channels and SR ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are localized. There are eight different types of subsystems in our model, with between one and eight L-type Ca(2+) channels distributed binomially. This model exhibits graded CICR and provides a quantitative description of Ca(2+) dynamics not requiring Monte-Carlo simulations. Activation of RyRs and release of Ca(2+) from the SR depend critically on Ca(2+) entry through L-type Ca(2+) channels. In turn, Ca(2+) channel inactivation is critically dependent on the release of stored intracellular Ca(2+). Inactivation of I(CaL) depends on both transmembrane voltage and local [Ca(2+)](i) near the channel, which results in distinctive inactivation properties. The molecular mechanisms underlying many I(CaL) gating properties are unclear, but [Ca(2+)](i) dynamics clearly play a fundamental role.

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