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Membrane Potential Fluctuations And Transient Inward Currents Induced By Reactive Oxygen Intermediates In Isolated Rabbit Ventricular Cells.

H Matsuura, M J Shattock

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The cellular basis of reactive oxygen intermediate-induced arrhythmias was investigated in isolated rabbit ventricular cells using the whole-cell voltage- and current-clamp techniques. Singlet oxygen and superoxide were generated by the photoactivation of rose bengal. Single ventricular cells exposed to rose bengal (10-100 nM) exhibited spontaneous membrane potential fluctuations at plateau potentials and at the level of the resting membrane potential. The voltage fluctuations induced in the resting potential occasionally triggered repetitive action potential discharges. At the resting membrane potential, the magnitude and dominant frequency of the voltage fluctuations were 1-3 mV and 1.5 Hz, respectively. At plateau potentials, the amplitude of the voltage fluctuations was about 2-5 mV, and the dominant oscillatory frequency was 2.6 Hz. In voltage-clamp experiments, transient inward currents were induced on repolarization after a depolarizing clamp step. Oscillatory currents also occurred occasionally during clamp steps to positive potentials. The peak frequencies of transient inward currents recorded at -20 and -70 mV were approximately 3.7 and 2.3 Hz, respectively, indicating that these currents may underlie the arrhythmogenic membrane potential fluctuations observed in current-clamp experiments. The rose bengal-induced transient inward currents were shown to be dependent on the magnitude and duration of the preceding voltage step. Studies of the voltage dependence of transient inward currents showed that these currents remained inward even at positive potentials (+30 mV), and replacement of extracellular sodium with lithium decreased transient inward current to approximately 10% of its initial value. Thus, the major component of oxidant stress-induced inward current appears to be electrogenic Na-Ca exchange. This oscillatory transient inward current may be responsible for the arrhythmias induced in isolated hearts exposed to reactive oxygen intermediates, and since oxidant stress has been implicated in reperfusion injury, it is possible that similar oscillatory currents may underlie reperfusion-induced arrhythmias.