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Am J Physiol. 1997 Apr;272(4 Pt 2):H1791-7.

Effects of relaxin on rat atrial myocytes. I. Inhibition of I(to) via PKA-dependent phosphorylation.

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Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana 61801, USA.


The peptide hormone relaxin has direct, positive inotropic and chronotropic effects on rat hearts in vivo and in vitro. Relaxin's effects on the electrophysiological properties of single quiescent atrial cells from normal rats were investigated with a whole cell patch clamp. Relaxin had a significant inhibitory effect on outward potassium currents. The outward potassium current consisted of a transient component (I(to)) and a sustained component (I(S)). The addition of 100 ng/ml of relaxin inhibited the peak I(to) in a voltage-dependent manner (74% inhibition at a membrane potential of -10 mV to 30% inhibition at +70 mV). The time to reach peak I(to) and the apparent time constant of inactivation of I(to) were increased by relaxin. Dialysis with the protein kinase A inhibitor 5-24 amide (2 microM) prevented relaxin's effects, suggesting an obligatory role for this kinase in the relaxin-dependent regulation of the potassium current.

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