Effects of pharmacological gap junction and sodium channel blockade on S1S2 restitution properties in Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts

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Tse, G 
Liu, T 
Li, G 
Keung, W 
Yeo, JM 

Gap junctions and sodium channels are the major molecular determinants of normal and abnormal electrical conduction through the myocardium, however, their exact contributions to arrhythmogenesis are unclear. We examined conduction and recovery properties of regular (S1) and extrasystolic (S2) action potentials (APs), S1S2 restitution and ventricular arrhythmogenicity using the gap junction and sodium channel inhibitor heptanol (2 mM) in Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts (n=10). Monophasic action potential recordings obtained during S1S2 pacing showed that heptanol increased the proportion of hearts showing inducible ventricular tachycardia (0/10 vs. 5/8 hearts (Fisher’s exact test, P < 0.05), prolonged activation latencies of S1 and S2 APs, thereby decreasing S2/S1 activation latency ratio (ANOVA, P < 0.05) despite prolonged ventricular effective refractory period (VERP). It did not alter S1 action potential duration at 90% repolarization (APD90) but prolonged S2 APD90 (P < 0.05), thereby increasing S2/S1 APD90 ratio (P < 0.05). It did not alter maximum conduction velocity (CV) restitution gradient or maximum CV reductions but decreased the restitution time constant (P < 0.05). It increased maximal APD90 restitution gradient (P < 0.05) without altering critical diastolic interval or maximum APD90 reductions. Pro-arrhythmic effects of 2 mM heptanol are explicable by delayed conduction and abnormal electrical restitution. We concluded that gap junctions modulated via heptanol (0.05 mM) increased arrhythmogenicity through a delay in conduction, while sodium channel inhibition by a higher concentration of heptanol (2 mM) increased arrhythmogenicity via additional mechanisms, such as abnormalities in APDs and CV restitution.

S1S2 restitution, conduction, extrasystolic stimulation, heptanol, repolarization
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GT received research funding from the BBSRC for this research and is currently supported by a Clinical Assistant Professorship from the Croucher Foundation of Hong Kong. WTW is supported by the Direct Grant for Research from the Research Committee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.