Block of the cardiac pacemaker current (If) in the rabbit sino-atrial node and in canine Purkinje fibres by 9-amino-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroacridine

Pflugers Arch. 1991 Feb;417(6):611-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00372959.


We have investigated the action of 9-amino-1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydroacridine (THA) on the pacemaker current If in rabbit sino-atrial node myocytes and in canine Purkinje fibers. THA at concentrations in the range 3-300 microM blocked If in a voltage-independent manner, as revealed by measurements on the fully activated I/V relation for If. The dose/response relationship of the If maximal slope conductance (Gf) can be fitted by assuming a cooperative binding reaction where two THA molecules are required to block one If channel. Half-maximal block occurred at 18.2 microM in the sino-atrial node and 36.6 microM in Purkinje fibers. THA also affected the If kinetic properties. This was examined in the sino-atrial node where the current activation curve was shifted in the negative direction on the voltage axis (- 21 mV at 30 microM THA). The delayed rectifier current, IK, was also reduced by THA in sino-atrial node myocytes: at - 40 mV the IK fully activated value was decreased to 37% of its control value by 30 microM THA, with only a minor modification of the position of the activation curve at the same potential. Thus, although THA blocks If at a lower concentration than other known If-channel blockers [DiFrancesco (1982) J Physiol (Lond) 329:485-507], its action on the pacemaker current is not specific.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electric Conductivity / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Purkinje Fibers / drug effects*
  • Rabbits
  • Sinoatrial Node / drug effects*
  • Tacrine / pharmacology*


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Tacrine