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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2013 May;58:153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

β-adrenergic stimulation activates early afterdepolarizations transiently via kinetic mismatch of PKA targets.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.


Sympathetic stimulation regulates cardiac excitation-contraction coupling in hearts but can also trigger ventricular arrhythmias caused by early afterdepolarizations (EADs) in pathological conditions. Isoproterenol (ISO) stimulation can transiently cause EADs which could result from differential kinetics of L-type Ca current (ICaL) vs. delayed rectifier potassium current (IKs) effects, but multiple PKA targets complicate mechanistic analysis. Utilizing a biophysically detailed model integrating Ca and β-adrenergic signaling, we investigate how different phosphorylation kinetics and targets influence β-adrenergic-induced transient EADs. We found that: 1) The faster time course of ICaL vs. IKs increases recapitulates experimentally observed ISO-induced transient EADs (which are due to ICaL reactivation). These EADs disappear at steady state ISO and do not occur during more gradual ISO application. 2) This ICaL vs. IKs kinetic mismatch with ISO can also induce transient EADs due to spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca release and Na/Ca exchange current. The increased ICaL, SR Ca uptake and action potential duration (APD) raise SR Ca to cause spontaneous SR Ca release, but eventual IKs activation and APD shortening abolish these EADs. 3) Phospholemman (PLM) phosphorylation decreases both types of EADs by increasing outward Na/K-ATPase current (INaK) for ICaL-mediated EADs, and reducing intracellular Na and Ca loading for SR Ca-release-mediated EADs. Slowing PLM phosphorylation kinetics abolishes this protective effect. 4) Blocking phospholamban (PLB) phosphorylation has little effect on ICaL-mediated transient EADs, but abolishes SR Ca-release-mediated transient EADs by limiting SR Ca loading. 5) RyR phosphorylation has little effect on either transient EAD type. Our study emphasizes the importance of understanding non-steady state kinetics of several systems in mediating β-adrenergic-induced EADs and arrhythmias.

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