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Calcium influx through If channels in rat ventricular myocytes.

Xiao Yu, Xiao-Wei Chen, Peng Zhou, Lijun Yao, Tao Liu, Bo Zhang, Ying Li, Hui Zheng, Liang-Hong Zheng, Claire Xi Zhang, Iain Bruce, Jun-Bo Ge, Shi-Qiang Wang, Zhi-An Hu, Han-Gang Yu, Zhuan Zhou

Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol., 2007 Mar , 292, C1147-55

The hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, or cardiac (I(f))/neuronal (I(h)) time- and voltage-dependent inward cation current channels, are conventionally considered as monovalent-selective channels. Recently we discovered that calcium ions can permeate through HCN4 and I(h) channels in neurons. This raises the possibility of Ca(2+) permeation in I(f), the I(h) counterpart in cardiac myocytes, because of their structural homology. We performed simultaneous measurement of fura-2 Ca(2+) signals and whole cell currents produced by HCN2 and HCN4 channels (the 2 cardiac isoforms present in ventricles) expressed in HEK293 cells and by I(f) in rat ventricular myocytes. We observed Ca(2+) influx when HCN/I(f) channels were activated. Ca(2+) influx was increased with stronger hyperpolarization or longer pulse duration. Cesium, an I(f) channel blocker, inhibited I(f) and Ca(2+) influx at the same time. Quantitative analysis revealed that Ca(2+) flux contributed to approximately 0.5% of current produced by the HCN2 channel or I(f). The associated increase in Ca(2+) influx was also observed in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) myocytes in which I(f) current density is higher than that of normotensive rat ventricle. In the absence of EGTA (a Ca(2+) chelator), preactivation of I(f) channels significantly reduced the action potential duration, and the effect was blocked by another selective I(f) channel blocker, ZD-7288. In the presence of EGTA, however, preactivation of I(f) channels had no effects on action potential duration. Our data extend our previous discovery of Ca(2+) influx in I(h) channels in neurons to I(f) channels in cardiac myocytes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17065201