Introduction: Atrial-selective inhibition of cardiac sodium channel current (INa) and INa-dependent parameters has been shown to contribute to the safe and effective management of atrial fibrillation. The present study was designed to examine the basis for the atrial-selective actions of Wenxin Keli.
Methods: Whole cell INa was recorded at room temperature in canine atrial and ventricular myocytes. Trains of 40 pulses were elicited over a range of pulse durations and interpulse intervals to determine tonic and use-dependent block. A Markovian model for INa that incorporates interaction of Wenxin Keli with different states of the channel was developed to examine the basis for atrial selectivity of the drug.
Results: Our data indicate that Wenxin Keli does not bind significantly to either closed or open states of the sodium channel, but binds very rapidly to the inactivated state of the channel and dissociates rapidly from the closed state. Action potentials recorded from atrial and ventricular preparations in the presence of 5g/L Wenxin Keli were introduced into the computer model in current clamp mode to simulate the effects on maximum upstroke velocity (Vmax). The model predicted much greater inhibition of Vmax in atrial vs. ventricular cells at rapid stimulation rates.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that atrial selectivity of Wenxin Keli to block INa is due to more negative steady-state inactivation, less negative resting membrane potential, and shorter diastolic intervals in atrial vs. ventricular cells at rapid activation rates. These actions of Wenxin Keli account for its relatively safe and effective suppression of atrial fibrillation.
Keywords: Antiarrhythmic drugs; Arrhythmias; Atria; Electrophysiology; Pharmacology; Ventricles.
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