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Am J Physiol. 1989 Jul;257(1 Pt 2):H79-84.

Is there a second external lidocaine binding site on mammalian cardiac cells?

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Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratories, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


Lidocaine and its permanently charged analogue QX-314 block sodium current (INa) in nerve, and by this mechanism, lidocaine produces local anesthesia. When administered clinically, lidocaine prevents cardiac arrhythmias. Nerve and skeletal muscle are much more sensitive to local anesthetics when the drugs are applied inside the cell, indicating that the binding site for local anesthetics is located on the inside of those Na channels. Using a large suction pipette for voltage clamp and internal perfusion of single cardiac Purkinje cells, we demonstrate that a charged lidocaine analogue blocks INa not only when applied from the inside but also from the outside, unlike noncardiac tissue. This functional difference in heart predicts that a second local anesthetic binding site exists outside or near the outside of cardiac Na channels and emphasizes that the cardiac Na channel is different from that in nerve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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