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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 May;309(2):554-9. Epub 2004 Jan 27.

Risk of ventricular proarrhythmia with selective opening of the myocardial sarcolemmal versus mitochondrial ATP-gated potassium channel.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0204, USA.


Myocardial ATP-gated potassium channels (K-ATPs) are critical in the intracellular signaling cascade resulting in ischemic preconditioning (IP). Mitochondrial K-ATP channels seem to be responsible for IP, whereas the functions of K-ATP channels in the sarcolemmal membrane are less well understood. The proarrhythmic potential of specific versus nonspecific opening of K-ATP channels has not been investigated. In this study, Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts were exposed to either pinacidil (1.25 microM), a nonselective K-ATP channel agonist, or selective mitochondrial or sarcolemmal K-ATP channel agonists or antagonists. The hearts were then subjected to 12 min of hypoxic perfusion and 40 min of reoxygenation. Hearts were monitored for the induction of ventricular fibrillation (VF). No heart subjected to hypoxia-reoxygenation without drug treatment developed VF (0 of 5). Pinacidil pretreatment induced VF (12 of 14; p = 0.004 versus control). Pinacidil's effect was blocked by HMR-1098 (1-[5-[2-(5-chloro-o-anisamide)ethyl]-2-methoxyphenyl]sulfonyl]-3-methylthiourea) (1 microM), a selective sarcolemmal K-ATP channel antagonist (1 of 7; p = 0.007 versus pinacidil; N.S. versus control). Hearts pretreated with 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD) (100 microM), a putatively selective mitochondrial K-ATP channel blocker developed VF in one of eight trials (N.S. versus control). 5-HD did not alter the effects of pinacidil (6 of 8; p < 0.05 versus control; N.S. versus pinacidil alone). Selective mitochondrial K-ATP channel activation with [(3R)-trans-4-((4-chlorophenyl)-N-(1H-imidazol-2-ylmethyl)dimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-6-carbonitril monohydrochloride] (BMS-191095) (6 microM) resulted in zero of five hearts developing VF (N.S. versus control). Our data suggest that selective opening of the sarcolemmal K-ATP channel during hypoxia-reoxygenation induced VF, whereas opening of the mitochondrial channel was not associated with VF. The findings suggest that caution should be exercised when developing compounds aimed at inducing IP, and nonspecific opening of the K-ATP channel should be avoided.

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