Contractile properties and Ca2+ release activity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum in dilated cardiomyopathy.
BACKGROUND We performed a comparative study on Ca2+ release activity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and calcium sensitivity of contractile apparatus of chemically skinned myocardial fibers obtained from four nonfailing human hearts and 13 excised hearts from patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.
METHODS AND RESULTS Ca2+ sensitivity of contractile apparatus was studied by following the isometric tension developed by chemically skinned myocardial fibers challenged with solutions of decreasing pCa. Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum was monitored indirectly by measurement of the isometric tension developed by skinned fibers challenged with caffeine. We observed no significant difference of Ca2+ sensitivity and cooperativity between normal myocardium (pCa50 = 6.00 +/- 0.05; Hill coefficient, nHill = 2.07 +/- 0.10) and dilated cardiomyopathy (pCa50 = 6.03 +/- 0.07; nHill = 2.72 +/- 0.30) when the fibers were stretched to 130% of the resting length. We also found that both in normal myocardium and dilated cardiomyopathy, stretching to 150% of the resting length increased the Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile system; pCa50 = 6.21 +/- 0.01 and 6.13 +/- 0.04 in normal and dilated cardiomyopathy, respectively, whereas in dilated cardiomyopathy there was a decrease of Hill coefficient with stretching that was not observed in the control group. The caffeine threshold in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy was markedly increased compared with the control group, 1.94 +/- 0.27 mmol/l and 0.29 +/- 0.04 mmol/l caffeine, respectively, whereas there were no significant differences in the extent and rate of caffeine-induced Ca2+ release.
CONCLUSIONS These results indicate that in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy there is no alteration of contractile and regulatory proteins; on the contrary, the gating mechanism of the Ca2+ release channel of sarcoplasmic reticulum is abnormal, suggesting a possible involvement of the excitation-contraction coupling in the pathogenesis of this disease. It should also be taken into account, however, that the increased caffeine threshold in dilated cardiomyopathy would be a result of the enhanced resistance to the skinning procedure secondary to the modification of lipid species and/or content in sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association