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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Jan;300(1):R56-66. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00377.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Calcium handling in zebrafish ventricular myocytes.

Author information

1
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

The zebrafish is an important model for the study of vertebrate cardiac development with a rich array of genetic mutations and biological reagents for functional interrogation. The similarity of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) cardiac action potential with that of humans further enhances the relevance of this model. In spite of this, little is known about excitation-contraction coupling in the zebrafish heart. To address this issue, adult zebrafish cardiomyocytes were isolated by enzymatic perfusion of the cannulated ventricle and were subjected to amphotericin-perforated patch-clamp technique, confocal calcium imaging, and/or measurements of cell shortening. Simultaneous recordings of the voltage dependence of the L-type calcium current (I(Ca,L)) amplitude and cell shortening showed a typical bell-shaped current-voltage (I-V) relationship for I(Ca,L) with a maximum at +10 mV, whereas calcium transients and cell shortening showed a monophasic increase with membrane depolarization that reached a plateau at membrane potentials above +20 mV. Values of I(Ca,L) were 53, 100, and 17% of maximum at -20, +10, and +40 mV, while the corresponding calcium transient amplitudes were 64, 92, and 98% and cell shortening values were 62, 95, and 96% of maximum, respectively, suggesting that I(Ca,L) is the major contributor to the activation of contraction at voltages below +10 mV, whereas the contribution of reverse-mode Na/Ca exchange becomes increasingly more important at membrane potentials above +10 mV. Comparison of the recovery of I(Ca,L) from acute and steady-state inactivation showed that reduction of I(Ca,L) upon elevation of the stimulation frequency is primarily due to calcium-dependent I(Ca,L) inactivation. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a large yield of healthy atrial and ventricular myocytes can be obtained by enzymatic perfusion of the cannulated zebrafish heart. Moreover, zebrafish ventricular myocytes differed from that of large mammals by having larger I(Ca,L) density and a monophasically increasing contraction-voltage relationship, suggesting that caution should be taken upon extrapolation of the functional impact of mutations on calcium handling and contraction in zebrafish cardiomyocytes.

PMID:
20926764
DOI:
10.1152/ajpregu.00377.2010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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