Contributions of Purkinje-myocardial coupling to suppression and facilitation of early afterdepolarization-induced triggered activity

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2005 Sep;52(9):1522-31. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2005.851528.


Electrical loading by ventricular myocardium modulates conduction system repolarization near Purkinje-ventricular junctions (PVJs). We investigated how that loading suppresses and facilitates early afterdepolarizations (EADs) under conditions where there is a high degree of functional coupling between tissue types, which is consistent with the anatomic arrangement at the peripheral conduction system-myocardial interface. Experiments were completed in eight rabbit right ventricular (RV) free wall preparations. Free-running Purkinje strands were locally superfused, and action potentials were recorded from strands. RV free walls were bathed in normal solution. Surface electrograms were recorded near strand insertions into downstream free wall myocardium. Detailed histology was performed to assemble a computer model with interspersed Purkinje and ventricular myocytes weakly coupled throughout the region. Delays from Purkinje upstrokes to downstream peripheral conduction system and myocardial activation were comparable between experiments and simulations, supporting model node-to-node electrical coupling, i.e., the functional coupling. Purkinje action potential duration (APD) prolongation with localized isoproterenol in experiments and calcium current enhancement in simulations failed to establish EADs. With myocardial APD prolongation by delayed rectifier potassium current inhibition or L-type calcium current enhancement accompanying Purkinje APD prolongation in simulations, however, EAD-induced triggered activity developed. Collectively, our findings suggest competing contributions of the myocardial sink when there is a high degree of functional coupling between tissue types, with the transition from suppression to facilitation of EAD-induced triggered activity depending critically upon myocardial APD prolongation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Purkinje Fibers / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Ventricular Function*