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F1000Res. 2014 Oct 16;3:245. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5544.1. eCollection 2014.

Late cardiac sodium current can be assessed using automated patch-clamp.

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Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, 3010, Switzerland.
Cytocentrics Bioscience GmbH, Rostock, 18059, Germany.
Medical University of Vienna, Wien, 1090, Austria.
Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) TransCure, University of Bern, Bern, 3010, Switzerland.
Contributed equally


The cardiac late Na (+) current is generated by a small fraction of voltage-dependent Na (+) channels that undergo a conformational change to a burst-gating mode, with repeated openings and closures during the action potential (AP) plateau. Its magnitude can be augmented by inactivation-defective mutations, myocardial ischemia, or prolonged exposure to chemical compounds leading to drug-induced (di)-long QT syndrome, and results in an increased susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias. Using CytoPatch™ 2 automated patch-clamp equipment, we performed whole-cell recordings in HEK293 cells stably expressing human Nav1.5, and measured the late Na (+) component as average current over the last 100 ms of 300 ms depolarizing pulses to -10 mV from a holding potential of -100 mV, with a repetition frequency of 0.33 Hz. Averaged values in different steady-state experimental conditions were further corrected by the subtraction of current average during the application of tetrodotoxin (TTX) 30 μM. We show that ranolazine at 10 and 30 μM in 3 min applications reduced the late Na (+) current to 75.0 ± 2.7% (mean ± SEM, n = 17) and 58.4 ± 3.5% ( n = 18) of initial levels, respectively, while a 5 min application of veratridine 1 μM resulted in a reversible current increase to 269.1 ± 16.1% ( n = 28) of initial values. Using fluctuation analysis, we observed that ranolazine 30 μM decreased mean open probability p from 0.6 to 0.38 without modifying the number of active channels n, while veratridine 1 μM increased n 2.5-fold without changing p. In human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, veratridine 1 μM reversibly increased APD90 2.12 ± 0.41-fold (mean ± SEM, n = 6). This effect is attributable to inactivation removal in Nav1.5 channels, since significant inhibitory effects on hERG current were detected at higher concentrations in hERG-expressing HEK293 cells, with a 28.9 ± 6.0% inhibition (mean ± SD, n = 10) with 50 μM veratridine.

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