Intracellular calcium handling in isolated ventricular myocytes from patients with terminal heart failure.
BACKGROUND Experiments were performed in human ventricular myocytes to investigate properties of excitation-contraction coupling in patients with terminal heart failure. Myocytes were isolated from left ventricular myocardium of patients with cardiac failure caused by dilated or ischemic cardiomyopathy undergoing transplantation. These results were compared with those obtained from cells of healthy donor hearts that for technical reasons were not suitable for transplantation.
METHODS AND RESULTS [Ca2+]i transients and Ca2+ currents were recorded from isolated cells under voltage clamp perfused internally with the Ca2+ indicator fura 2. In cells that were stimulated externally, the cell-permeant form of the indicator, fura 2-AM, was used. When action potentials were to be recorded, cells were stimulated in current clamp mode. Unstimulated Ca2+ current densities were not significantly different in myopathic and control cells. In diseased myocytes, resting [Ca2+]i levels were 165 +/- 61 nmol/l, compared with 95 +/- 47 nmol/l in normal cells. With 5 mmol/l Na+ in the pipette, peak [Ca2+]i transients were 367 +/- 109 and 746 +/- 249 nmol/l, respectively. The decline of [Ca2+]i during diastole was significantly slower in myopathic cells than in control cells. This was a result of a prolongation of the action potential and of a reduced Ca2+ sequestration by the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
CONCLUSIONS These results may partly explain the alterations of contractility in vivo in patients with heart failure.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association