Pinacidil-induced electrical heterogeneity and extrasystolic activity in canine ventricular tissues. Does activation of ATP-regulated potassium current promote phase 2 reentry?
BACKGROUND Pinacidil is known to augment a time-independent outward current in cardiac tissues by activating the ATP-regulated potassium channels. Activation of this current, IK-ATP, is thought to be responsible for increased potassium permeability in ischemia. The contribution of IK-ATP activation to arrhythmogenesis and the role of activation of this current in suppression of arrhythmias are areas of great interest and debate. Because electrical depression attending myocardial ischemia is more accentuated in ventricular epicardium than in endocardium, we endeavored to contrast the effects of pinacidil-induced IK-ATP activation on the electrophysiology of canine ventricular epicardium and endocardium.
METHODS AND RESULTS Standard microelectrode techniques were used. Pinacidil (1 to 5 mumol/L) produced a marked dispersion of repolarization and refractoriness in isolated canine ventricular epicardium as well as between epicardium and endocardium. In endocardium, pinacidil abbreviated action potential duration (APD90) and refractoriness by 8.0 +/- 2.3%. In epicardium, the effects of pinacidil were nonhomogeneous. At some sites, pinacidil induced an all-or-none repolarization at the end of phase 1 of the action potential, resulting in 55.5 +/- 8.7% abbreviation of APD90 and refractoriness. Adjacent to these were sites at which the dome was maintained with only minor changes in APD and refractoriness. Extrasystolic activity displaying features of reentry was observed in isolated sheets of epicardium (63.2%) after exposure to pinacidil (1 to 5 mumol/L) but never in its absence. Dispersion of repolarization and ectopic activity was most readily induced in epicardium by a slowing of the stimulation rate in the presence of pinacidil. Electrical homogeneity was restored and arrhythmias abolished after washout of pinacidil or addition of either a transient outward current blocker, 4-aminopyridine, or a blocker of the ATP-regulated potassium channels, glybenclamide.
CONCLUSIONS Our data suggest that the activation of IK-ATP can produce a marked dispersion of repolarization and refractoriness in epicardium as well as between epicardium and endocardium, leading to the development of extrasystolic activity via a mechanism that we have called phase 2 reentry. The available data also suggest that blockade of the transient outward current and/or the ATP-regulated potassium channels may be useful antiarrhythmic interventions under ischemic or "ATP depleted" conditions.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association