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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013 Aug 1;305(3):H410-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00213.2013. Epub 2013 May 24.

Ionic bases for electrical remodeling of the canine cardiac ventricle.

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The Heart and Vascular Research Center and Department of Biomedical Engineering, MetroHealth Campus, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.


Emerging evidence suggests that ventricular electrical remodeling (VER) is triggered by regional myocardial strain via mechanoelectrical feedback mechanisms; however, the ionic mechanisms underlying strain-induced VER are poorly understood. To determine its ionic basis, VER induced by altered electrical activation in dogs undergoing left ventricular pacing (n = 6) were compared with unpaced controls (n = 4). Action potential (AP) durations (APDs), ionic currents, and Ca(2+) transients were measured from canine epicardial myocytes isolated from early-activated (low strain) and late-activated (high strain) left ventricular regions. VER in the early-activated region was characterized by minimal APD prolongation, but marked attenuation of the AP phase 1 notch attributed to reduced transient outward K(+) current. In contrast, VER in the late-activated region was characterized by significant APD prolongation. Despite marked APD prolongation, there was surprisingly minimal change in ion channel densities but a twofold increase in diastolic Ca(2+). Computer simulations demonstrated that changes in sarcolemmal ion channel density could only account for attenuation of the AP notch observed in the early-activated region but failed to account for APD remodeling in the late-activated region. Furthermore, these simulations identified that cytosolic Ca(2+) accounted for APD prolongation in the late-activated region by enhancing forward-mode Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger activity, corroborated by increased Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger protein expression. Finally, assessment of skinned fibers after VER identified altered myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in late-activated regions to be associated with increased diastolic levels of Ca(2+). In conclusion, we identified two distinct ionic mechanisms that underlie VER: 1) strain-independent changes in early-activated regions due to remodeling of sarcolemmal ion channels with no changes in Ca(2+) handling and 2) a novel and unexpected mechanism for strain-induced VER in late-activated regions in the canine arising from remodeling of sarcomeric Ca(2+) handling rather than sarcolemmal ion channels.


T-wave memory; calcium cycling; electrical remodeling; ion channels; mechanical strain

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