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Biophys J. 1984 Mar;45(3):509-12.

Slow inactivation of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive current in canine cardiac Purkinje fibers.


We used the two-microelectrode voltage clamp technique and tetrodotoxin (TTX) to investigate the possible occurrence of slow inactivation of sodium channels in canine cardiac Purkinje fibers under physiologic conditions. The increase in net outward current during prolonged (5-20 s) step depolarizations (range -70 to +5 mV) following the application of TTX is time dependent, being maximal immediately following depolarization, and declining thereafter towards a steady value. To eliminate the possibility that this time-dependent current was due to inadequate voltage control of these multicellular preparations early during square clamp pulses, we also used slowly depolarizing voltage clamp ramps (range 5-100 mV/s) to ensure control of membrane potential. TTX-sensitive current also was observed with these voltage ramps; the time dependence of this current was demonstrated by the reduction of the peak current magnitude as the ramp speed was reduced. Reducing the holding potential within the voltage range of sodium channel inactivation also decreased the TTX-sensitive current observed with identical speed ramps. These results suggest that the TTX-sensitive time-dependent current is a direct measure of slow inactivation of canine cardiac sodium channels. This current may play an important role in modulating the action potential duration.

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