University of Oulu

Intracellular calcium stores and sodium-calcium exchanger in cardiac myocytes : experimental and computer simulation study

Saved in:
Author: Han, Chunlei1,2,3,4
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences, Division of Biophysics
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology
3University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
4University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering Program
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-11-27
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on December 14th, 2001, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Saleet Jafri
Professor Matti Vornanen


Cytosolic Ca²⁺, [Ca²⁺]I, has a key role in intracellular signalling during excitation-contraction coupling (E-C coupling) in cardiac myocytes. The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) is a main intracellular Ca²⁺ store and the Na⁺-Ca²⁺ exchanger (NaCaX) is a major mechanism to extrude Ca²⁺ for balancing the Ca²⁺ influx via L-type Ca²⁺ channels during excitation. Furthermore, [Ca²⁺]I also affects the configuration of the action potential (AP). The present study, by combination of animal experiments and computer simulations, investigated the roles of [Ca²⁺]I, SR and NaCaX in cardiac myocytes, in Ca²⁺-induced Ca²⁺ release (CICR) and in modulation of APs. The following were studied: (I) the stretch-induced effects on rat atrium and the role of [Ca²⁺]I in modulation of AP; (II) the role of the SR in modulation in rat atrium by stretch; (III) the role of NaCaX; (IV) the role of [Ca²⁺]I in modulation of action potential duration (APD) in myocytes with short and long action potential duration.

In isolated rat atrial preparations, the physiological or moderate stretch stimulus caused two- phasic rise of developed contraction, rapid and slow phases, accompanied with slow increments of [Ca²⁺]I and prolongations of action potentials durations in continuous recordings. In sustained stretch, the APD and [Ca²⁺]I were all increased significantly when intra-atrial pressure increased from 1 to 3 mmHg. In computer simulations, employing a rat atrial model (RA model), it was found that stretch-activated channels and increased Tn C affinity for Ca²⁺ alone could not produce the changes in the experiments. Only after both mechanisms applied to model cells, the main experimental findings could be mimicked (I). The prolongation of APD induced by stretch in rat atrial preparations was reversed after depleting the Ca²⁺ content of the SR by application of the SR functional inhibitors, ryanodine, thapsigargin and caffeine (II). In the computer simulation using modified guinea pig ventricular model, the Ca²⁺ entry via the reversal of NaCaX was found to be accounting 25% of the total activator Ca²⁺ for triggering Ca²⁺ release from the SR during normal excitation. This contribution increases with elevated [Na⁺]i (III). In a guinea pig ventricular model (GPV model) and a RA model were employed for investigating the regulation of APD by [Ca²⁺]I-dependent membrane currents. Increased SR Ca²⁺ content produced an elevated [Ca²⁺]I in both model cells, leading to prolongation of APD in the RA model but shortening in the GPV model. Increased [Ca²⁺]I enhances the NaCaX current in the same scale in both models, but inhibits L-type Ca current much more in the GPV model than the RA model (IV).

In conclusion, (I) Stretch-induced [Ca²⁺]I increase prolongs the rat atrial AP by enhancing the NaCaX inward current. Stretch-activated channels (SACs) and increased affinity of TnC for Ca²⁺ are main general factors responsible for the variety of changes of cardiac muscles induced by stretch. (II) The SR plays a crucial role in the modulation of myocytes by accumulating the additional Ca²⁺ influx via sarcolemma during stretch. (III) The NaCaX contributes a small part for activator Ca²⁺ for calcium release from the SR during normal cardiac E-C coupling. However, this contribution is [Na]i-dependent, and in some pathological conditions, it may be a potential factor for cardiac arrhythmogenesis. (IV) Different effects on the NaCaX and L-type channels induced by increased [Ca²⁺]I leads to the dispersion of the change of APD in myocytes with long and short AP during inotropic interventions that increase the [Ca²⁺]I.

see all

Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-6591-2
ISBN Print: 951-42-6590-4
Issue: 378
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2001. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.