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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2015 Nov;36(11):1327-36. doi: 10.1038/aps.2015.75. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Ketamine attenuates the Na+-dependent Ca2+ overload in rabbit ventricular myocytes in vitro by inhibiting late Na+ and L-type Ca2+ currents.

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Cardio-Electrophysiological Research Laboratory, Medical College of Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430065, China.



Intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) overload occurs in myocardial ischemia. An increase in the late sodium current (INaL) causes intracellular Na(+) overload and subsequently [Ca(2+)]i overload via the reverse-mode sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX). Thus, inhibition of INaL is a potential therapeutic target for cardiac diseases associated with [Ca(2+)]i overload. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ketamine on Na(+)-dependent Ca(2+) overload in ventricular myocytes in vitro.


Ventricular myocytes were enzymatically isolated from hearts of rabbits. INaL, NCX current (INCX) and L-type Ca(2+) current (ICaL) were recorded using whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Myocyte shortening and [Ca(2+)]i transients were measured simultaneously using a video-based edge detection and dual excitation fluorescence photomultiplier system.


Ketamine (20, 40, 80 μmol/L) inhibited INaL in a concentration-dependent manner. In the presence of sea anemone toxin II (ATX, 30 nmol/L), INaL was augmented by more than 3-fold, while ketamine concentration-dependently suppressed the ATX-augmented INaL. Ketamine (40 μmol/L) also significantly suppressed hypoxia or H2O2-induced enhancement of INaL. Furthermore, ketamine concentration-dependently attenuated ATX-induced enhancement of reverse-mode INCX. In addition, ketamine (40 μmol/L) inhibited ICaL by 33.4%. In the presence of ATX (3 nmol/L), the rate and amplitude of cell shortening and relaxation, the diastolic [Ca(2+)]i, and the rate and amplitude of [Ca(2+)]i rise and decay were significantly increased, which were reverted to control levels by tetrodotoxin (TTX, 2 μmol/L) or by ketamine (40 μmol/L).


Ketamine protects isolated rabbit ventricular myocytes against [Ca(2+)]i overload by inhibiting INaL and ICaL.

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