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Isoproterenol antagonizes prolongation of refractory period by the class III antiarrhythmic agent E-4031 in guinea pig myocytes. Mechanism of action.

M C Sanguinetti, N K Jurkiewicz, A Scott, P K Siegl

Circ. Res., 1991 Jan , 68, 77-84

The mechanism by which isoproterenol (ISO) prevents the prolongation of action potential duration (APD) and refractory period (RP) by the class III antiarrhythmic agent E-4031 was studied. E-4031 (1 microM) increased RP by 50% with no effect on contractile force in papillary muscles isolated from guinea pig heart. ISO (1 microM) increased force of contraction more than fivefold and decreased RP by 25%. The prolongation of RP by E-4031 was prevented by pretreatment of muscles with ISO. The prolongation of APD in isolated guinea pig ventricular myocytes by 5 microM E-4031 also was antagonized by prior exposure of the cells to 1 microM ISO. Instantaneous currents and delayed rectifier K+ currents, IK, were measured in isolated myocytes using the suction microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. Currents were measured in response to 225-msec depolarizing pulses from a holding potential of -40 mV. Previous studies have demonstrated that IK in these cells results from activation of two distinct outward K+ currents, IKs and IKr (specifically blocked by E-4031). ISO doubled the magnitude of IKs without significant effect on IKr. The instantaneous current, putatively identified as a Cl- current, also was doubled by ISO but was unaffected by E-4031. The augmented conductance of IKs and instantaneous current by ISO results in a decrease in RP. The small effect of E-4031 on APD and RP in the presence of ISO results from the smaller contribution of IKr relative to the augmented repolarizing currents.