PubMed 11744759

Title: Effects of premature stimulation on HERG K(+) channels.

Authors: Y Lu, M P Mahaut-Smith, A Varghese, C L Huang, P R Kemp, J I Vandenberg

Journal, date & volume: J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2001 Dec 15 , 537, 843-51

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1. The unusual kinetics of human ether-à-go-go-related gene (HERG) K(+) channels are consistent with a role in the suppression of arrhythmias initiated by premature beats. Action potential clamp protocols were used to investigate the effect of premature stimulation on HERG K(+) channels, transfected in Chinese hamster ovary cells, at 37 degrees C. 2. HERG K(+) channel currents peaked during the terminal repolarization phase of normally paced action potential waveforms. However, the magnitude of the current and the time point at which conductance was maximal depended on the type of action potential waveform used (epicardial, endocardial, Purkinje fibre or atrial). 3. HERG K(+) channel currents recorded during premature action potentials consisted of an early transient outward current followed by a sustained outward current. The magnitude of the transient current component showed a biphasic dependence on the coupling interval between the normally paced and premature action potentials and was maximal at a coupling interval equivalent to 90 % repolarization (APD(90)) for ventricular action potentials. The largest transient current response occurred at shorter coupling intervals for Purkinje fibre (APD(90) - 20 ms) and atrial (APD(90) - 30 ms) action potentials. 4. The magnitude of the sustained current response following premature stimulation was similar to that recorded during the first action potential for ventricular action potential waveforms. However, for Purkinje and atrial action potentials the sustained current response was significantly larger during the premature action potential than during the normally paced action potential. 5. A Markov model that included three closed states, one open and one inactivated state with transitions permitted between the pre-open closed state and the inactivated state, successfully reproduced our results for the effects of premature stimuli, both during square pulse and action potential clamp waveforms. 6. These properties of HERG K(+) channels may help to suppress arrhythmias initiated by early afterdepolarizations and premature beats in the ventricles, Purkinje fibres or atria.