Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Jun;292(6):H2854-66. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Regulation of Ca2+ and electrical alternans in cardiac myocytes: role of CAMKII and repolarizing currents.

Author information

Cardiac Bioelectricity and Arrhythmia Center, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899, USA.


Alternans of cardiac repolarization is associated with arrhythmias and sudden death. At the cellular level, alternans involves beat-to-beat oscillation of the action potential (AP) and possibly Ca(2+) transient (CaT). Because of experimental difficulty in independently controlling the Ca(2+) and electrical subsystems, mathematical modeling provides additional insights into mechanisms and causality. Pacing protocols were conducted in a canine ventricular myocyte model with the following results: 1) CaT alternans results from refractoriness of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release system; alternation of the L-type calcium current has a negligible effect; 2) CaT-AP coupling during late AP occurs through the sodium-calcium exchanger and underlies AP duration (APD) alternans; 3) increased Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity extends the range of CaT and APD alternans to slower frequencies and increases alternans magnitude; its decrease suppresses CaT and APD alternans, exerting an antiarrhythmic effect; and 4) increase of the rapid delayed rectifier current (I(Kr)) also suppresses APD alternans but without suppressing CaT alternans. Thus CaMKII inhibition eliminates APD alternans by eliminating its cause (CaT alternans) while I(Kr) enhancement does so by weakening CaT-APD coupling. The simulations identify combined CaMKII inhibition and I(Kr) enhancement as a possible antiarrhythmic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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