Send to

Choose Destination
J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2006 May;17 Suppl 1:S79-S85.

The role of sodium channel current in modulating transmural dispersion of repolarization and arrhythmogenesis.

Author information

Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Utica, New York, NY 13501, USA.


Ventricular myocardium in larger mammals is composed of three distinct cell types: epicardial, M, and endocardial cells. Epicardial and M cell, but not endocardial cell, action potentials have a prominent I(to)-mediated notch. M cells are distinguished from the other cell types in that they display a smaller I(Ks), but a larger late I(Na) and I(Na-Ca). These ionic differences may account for the longer action potential duration (APD) and steeper APD-rate relationship of the M cell. The difference in the time course of repolarization of phase 1 and phase 3 contributes to the inscription of the electrocardiographic J wave and T wave, respectively. These repolarization gradients are modulated by electrotonic interactions, [K(+)](o), and agents or mutations that alter net repolarizing current. An increase in late I(Na), as occurring under a variety of pathophysiological states or in response to certain toxins, leads to a preferential prolongation of the M cell action potential, thus prolonging the QT interval and increasing transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR), which underlies the development of torsade de pointes (TdP) arrhythmias. Agents that reduce late I(Na) are effective in reducing TDR and suppressing TdP. A reduction in peak I(Na) or an increase in net repolarizing current in the early phases of the action potential can lead to a preferential abbreviation of the action potential of epicardium in the right ventricle, and thus the development of a large TDR, phase 2 reentry, and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia associated with the Brugada syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center