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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Aug;51(2):215-25. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2011.04.016. Epub 2011 May 7.

Effects of KATP channel openers diazoxide and pinacidil in coronary-perfused atria and ventricles from failing and non-failing human hearts.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


This study compared the effects of ATP-regulated potassium channel (K(ATP)) openers, diazoxide and pinacidil, on diseased and normal human atria and ventricles. We optically mapped the endocardium of coronary-perfused right (n=11) or left (n=2) posterior atrial-ventricular free wall preparations from human hearts with congestive heart failure (CHF, n=8) and non-failing human hearts without (NF, n=3) or with (INF, n=2) infarction. We also analyzed the mRNA expression of the K(ATP) targets K(ir)6.1, K(ir)6.2, SUR1, and SUR2 in the left atria and ventricles of NF (n=8) and CHF (n=4) hearts. In both CHF and INF hearts, diazoxide significantly decreased action potential durations (APDs) in atria (by -21±3% and -27±13%, p<0.01) and ventricles (by -28±7% and -28±4%, p<0.01). Diazoxide did not change APD (0±5%) in NF atria. Pinacidil significantly decreased APDs in both atria (-46 to -80%, p<0.01) and ventricles (-65 to -93%, p<0.01) in all hearts studied. The effect of pinacidil on APD was significantly higher than that of diazoxide in both atria and ventricles of all groups (p<0.05). During pinacidil perfusion, burst pacing induced flutter/fibrillation in all atrial and ventricular preparations with dominant frequencies of 14.4±6.1 Hz and 17.5±5.1 Hz, respectively. Glibenclamide (10 μM) terminated these arrhythmias and restored APDs to control values. Relative mRNA expression levels of K(ATP) targets were correlated to functional observations. Remodeling in response to CHF and/or previous infarct potentiated diazoxide-induced APD shortening. The activation of atrial and ventricular K(ATP) channels enhances arrhythmogenicity, suggesting that such activation may contribute to reentrant arrhythmias in ischemic hearts.

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