Author(s): Bogdanov KY, Vinogradova TM, Lakatta EG
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Abstract The rate of spontaneous diastolic depolarization (DD) of sinoatrial nodal cells (SANCs) that triggers recurrent action potentials (APs) is a fundamental aspect of the heart's pacemaker. Here, in experiments on isolated SANCs, using confocal microscopy combined with a patch clamp technique, we show that ryanodine receptor Ca(2+) release during the DD produces a localized subsarcolemmal Ca(2+) increase that spreads in a wavelike manner by Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release and produces an inward current via the Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX). Ryanodine, a blocker of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release channel, in a dose-dependent manner reduces the SANC beating rate with an IC(50) of 2.6 micromol/L and abolishes the local Ca(2+) transients that precede the AP upstroke. In voltage-clamped cells in which the DD was simulated by voltage ramp, 3 micromol/L ryanodine decreased an inward current during the voltage ramp by 1.6+/-0.3 pA/pF (SEM, n=4) leaving the peak of L-type Ca(2+) current unchanged. Likewise, acute blockade of the NCX (via rapid substitution of bath Na(+) by Li(+)) abolished SANC beating and reduced the inward current to a similar extent (1.7+/-0.4 pA/pF, n=4), as did ryanodine. Thus, in addition to activation/inactivation of multiple ion channels, Ca(2+) activation of the NCX, because of localized sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release, is a critical element in a chain of molecular interactions that permits the heartbeat to occur and determines its beating rate.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research