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J Physiol. 2007 Feb 1;578(Pt 3):819-29. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

The electrogenic Na+/HCO3- cotransport modulates resting membrane potential and action potential duration in cat ventricular myocytes.

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Centro de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, 60 y 120, La Plata 1900, Argentina.


Perforated whole-cell configuration of patch clamp was used to determine the contribution of the electrogenic Na+/HCO3- cotransport (NBC) on the shape of the action potential in cat ventricular myocytes. Switching from Hepes to HCO3- buffer at constant extracellular pH (pH(o)) hyperpolarized resting membrane potential (RMP) by 2.67 +/- 0.42 mV (n = 9, P < 0.05). The duration of action potential measured at 50% of repolarization time (APD50) was 35.8 +/- 6.8% shorter in the presence of HCO3- than in its absence (n = 9, P < 0.05). The anion blocker SITS prevented and reversed the HCO3- -induced hyperpolarization and shortening of APD. In addition, no HCO3- -induced hyperpolarization and APD shortening was observed in the absence of extracellular Na+. Quasi-steady-state currents were evoked by 8 s duration voltage-clamped ramps ranging from -130 to +30 mV. A novel component of SITS-sensitive current was observed in the presence of HCO3-. The HCO3- -sensitive current reversed at -87 +/- 5 mV (n = 7), a value close to the expected reversal potential of an electrogenic Na+/HCO3- cotransport with a HCO3-:Na+ stoichiometry ratio of 2: 1. The above results allow us to conclude that the cardiac electrogenic Na+/HCO3- cotransport has a relevant influence on RMP and APD of cat ventricular cells.

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