Background. Ischemia-induced electrophysiological changes are more prominent in epicardial cells than in endocardial cells. Epicardial action potentials shorten more than endocardial action potentials during ischemia. Since the L-type Ca2+ current plays an important role in the maintenance of action potential duration, we hypothesized that the Ca2+ current is affected more in epicardial cells than in endocardial cells during ischemia. Methods and Results. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of metabolic inhibition, a major component of ischemia, on action potentials and the Ca2+ current in single cells isolated from the endocardial and epicardial layers of the feline left ventricle. The membrane voltage and current were measured by using the whole-cell mode of the patch-clamp technique. During control periods, action potentials recorded from epicardial myocytes had lower amplitude, a prominent notch between phases 1 and 2, and shorter action potential duration compared with those recorded from endocardial myocytes. However, the amplitude and current-voltage relation of the Ca2+ current were similar in endocardial and epicardial cells at test potentials of -30 to 60 mV elicited from a holding potential of -40 mV. The time course of inactivation of the Ca2+ current also was identical in the two cell types. After 15 minutes of superfusion with glucose-free Tyrode's solution containing 1 mM CN-, action potential duration was reduced by 13±7% in endocardial cells and by 80±9% in epicardial cells (p<0.01). The peak Ca2+ current was reduced by 21±9% in endocardial cells and by 37±6% in epicardial cells (p<0.01). Conclusions. We conclude that enhanced depression of the Ca2+ current may account in part for the greater action potential shortening in epicardial cells during ischemia and metabolic inhibition.
- Action potential duration
- Cardiac myocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine