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J Gen Physiol. 1985 May;85(5):621-47.

Interactions of organic calcium channel antagonists with calcium channels in single frog atrial cells.


Inhibition of whole-cell calcium currents in enzymatically dispersed frog atrial myocytes by D-600, diltiazem, and nifedipine was studied using a single-micropipette voltage-clamp technique. The objective of these experiments was to test the applicability of a modulated-receptor hypothesis similar to that proposed for local anesthetic interactions with sodium channels to account for the tonic and frequency-dependent interactions of these organic compounds with myocardial calcium channels. Data consistent with such a hypothesis include: (a) prominent use-dependent block of iCa by D-600 and diltiazem, which are predominantly charged at physiological pH; (b) iCa block by an externally applied, permanently charged dihydropyridine derivative is greatly attenuated; (c) all three antagonists produce large negative shifts in the voltage dependence of iCa availability; (d) block of iCa by these compounds is state-dependent; (e) reactivation of iCa in the presence of all three antagonists is biexponential, which suggests that drug-free channels recover with a normal time course and drug-bound channels recover more slowly; and (f) the kinetics of the drug-induced slow iCa recovery process may be determined largely by factors such as size and molecular weight, in addition to lipid solubility of the compounds. Experiments in which the pH was modified, however, reveal some important differences for the interaction of organic calcium antagonists with myocardial calcium channels. Acidification, in addition to changing the proportion of charged and neutral antagonist in solution, was found to selectively antagonize tonic inhibition of iCa by diltiazem and nifedipine, without changing the kinetics of the drug-induced slow iCa reactivation process. It is concluded that two distinct receptor sites may be involved in block of iCa by some of these compounds: a proton-accessible site and a proton-inaccessible site.

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