PubMed 23702286

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1 , Nav1.1 , Nav1.2 , Nav1.3 , Nav1.4 , Nav1.5 , Nav1.6

Title: Distribution and function of sodium channel subtypes in human atrial myocardium.

Authors: Susann G Kaufmann, Ruth E Westenbroek, Alexander H Maass, Volkmar Lange, André Renner, Erhard Wischmeyer, Andreas Bonz, Jenny Muck, Georg Ertl, William A Catterall, Todd Scheuer, Sebastian K G Maier

Journal, date & volume: J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 2013 Aug , 61, 133-41

PubMed link:

Voltage-gated sodium channels composed of a pore-forming α subunit and auxiliary β subunits are responsible for the upstroke of the action potential in cardiac muscle. However, their localization and expression patterns in human myocardium have not yet been clearly defined. We used immunohistochemical methods to define the level of expression and the subcellular localization of sodium channel α and β subunits in human atrial myocytes. Nav1.2 channels are located in highest density at intercalated disks where β1 and β3 subunits are also expressed. Nav1.4 and the predominant Nav1.5 channels are located in a striated pattern on the cell surface at the z-lines together with β2 subunits. Nav1.1, Nav1.3, and Nav1.6 channels are located in scattered puncta on the cell surface in a pattern similar to β3 and β4 subunits. Nav1.5 comprised approximately 88% of the total sodium channel staining, as assessed by quantitative immunohistochemistry. Functional studies using whole cell patch-clamp recording and measurements of contractility in human atrial cells and tissue showed that TTX-sensitive (non-Nav1.5) α subunit isoforms account for up to 27% of total sodium current in human atrium and are required for maximal contractility. Overall, our results show that multiple sodium channel α and β subunits are differentially localized in subcellular compartments in human atrial myocytes, suggesting that they play distinct roles in initiation and conduction of the action potential and in excitation-contraction coupling. TTX-sensitive sodium channel isoforms, even though expressed at low levels relative to TTX-sensitive Nav1.5, contribute substantially to total cardiac sodium current and are required for normal contractility. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Na(+) Regulation in Cardiac Myocytes".