The electrophysiological effects of Endothelin-1 in human atrial myocytes

Redpath, Calum J. (2009) The electrophysiological effects of Endothelin-1 in human atrial myocytes. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Introduction: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and elevated levels of catecholamines and endothelin-1 (ET-1), each of which affects the atrial L-type calcium current (ICaL) and consequently action potentials.

Hypotheses: ET-1 modulates the effects of isoproterenol (ISO) on ICaL and action potentials in human atrial myocytes.

Methods: Atrial myocytes were isolated enzymatically from samples of right atrial appendage obtained from consenting patients in sinus rhythm undergoing cardiac surgery. The nystatin-perforated whole cell patch clamp technique was used at 37ºC to record ICaL and action potentials in voltage-clamp and current-clamp mode respectively.

Results: The current-voltage relationship of ICaL was bell-shaped, peaking at +10 mV with a current density of -4.8±0.4 pA/pF (mean± s.e.m., n=89 cells, 34 patients). ISO, 0.1 nM to 1 µM, increased peak ICaL in a concentration-dependent manner (n=4-46 cells) with a maximum response of 250± 53% above control and an approximate EC50 of 0.06 µM. Isoproterenol at 0.05 µM significantly increased peak ICaL from -4.7± 0.4 to -12.2± 0.9 pA/pF (P<0.05, Students t-test; n=64 cells). This adrenergic effect was reversed by ET-1 at all concentrations tested from 0.01 to 10 nM and was partially reversible upon ET-1 washout and in the presence of the specific ET-A receptor antagonist, FR139317 (n=5-12 cells). Neither ET-1 alone nor the ET-B receptor agonist Sarafotoxin S6c, at 10 nM, had an effect on ICaL.

Isoproterenol (0.05 µM) prolonged the action potential duration at 50% repolarisation (APD50) from 30± 7 to 46± 7 ms (P< 0.05, n=15 cells), but had no effect on APD90 nor the cellular ERP. These adrenergic effects on APD50 and SDs were also abolished by ET-1 at 10 nM (P< 0.05, n=15 cells). Superfusion with ET-1 (10 nM) alone had no significant effect on APD50, APD90, nor ERP (n=21 cells). There were no significant interactions between these electrophysiological effects and diseases states or chronic pre-operative drug therapy.

Spontaneous activity, defined as a depolarisation occurring during phase 3 of action potential repolarisation or a depolarisation of greater than 3 mV amplitude during phase 4, frequently interrupted action potential recordings during, but not prior to, superfusion with ISO. Using a repetitive stimulation protocol, ISO at 0.05 µM produced spontaneous depolarisations in 5 of 7 cells studied (P< 0.05, chi-2 test). Endothelin-1 at 10 nM abolished these depolarisations in all 5 cells (P< 0.05). Superfusion with ET-1 (10 nM) alone was associated with spontaneous depolarisations in significantly fewer cells (P< 0.05, n=2 of 13 cells).

In a retrospective univariate analysis, patient comorbidity and pre-operative drug therapy were not found to influence the electrophysiological effects observed.

Conclusions: ET-1 reversed adrenergically induced increases in peak ICaL, APD50 and SDs in human atrial myocytes. This anti-adrenergic effect may be expected to influence the occurrence of AF in patients irrespective of comorbidity or pre-operative drug therapy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: human atrium, arrhythmogenesis, electrophysiology, L-type calcium current, ICaL, action potentials, nystatin perforated patch clamp, endothelin, neurohormones, isoproterenol
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Rankin, Prof Andrew C.
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Dr Calum J Redpath
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1164
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:35

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