The potential beneficial effects of beta adrenergic blockade in the treatment of ventricular fibrillation.
The beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2-AR)-mediated increase in cardiac L-type Ca2+ current (I(Ca,L)) has been documented in normal subjects. However, the role and mechanism of beta2-AR activation on I(Ca,L) in heart failure (HF) are unclear. Accordingly, we compared the effect of zinterol (ZIN), a highly selective beta2-AR agonist, on I(Ca,L) in isolated left ventricular cardiomyocytes obtained from normal control and age-matched rats with HF induced by left coronary artery ligation (4 months). I(Ca,L) was measured by using the whole-cell voltage-clamp technique. In normal myocytes, superfusion of ZIN (10(-5) M) caused a 21% increase in I(Ca,L) (9.21 +/- 0.24 versus 7.59 +/- 0.20 pA/pF) (p < 0.05). In HF myocytes, the same concentration of ZIN produced a significantly greater increase (30%) in I(Ca,L) (6.20 +/- 0.24 versus 4.75 +/- 0.17 pA/pF) (p < 0.01). This ZIN-induced increase in I(Ca,L) was further augmented in both normal and HF myocytes (normal: 59 versus 21%; HF: 71 versus 30%) after the incubation of myocytes with pertussis toxin (PTX, 2 microg/ml, 36 degrees C, 6 h). These effects were not modified by the incubation of myocytes with CGP-20712A (3 x 10(-7) M), a beta1-AR antagonist, but were abolished by pretreatment of myocytes with ICI-118551 (10(-7) M), a beta2-AR antagonist. In addition, all of the effects induced by ZIN were completely prevented in the presence of an inhibitory cAMP analog, Rp-cAMPS (100 microM, in the patch-pipette solution). In conclusion, beta2-AR activation stimulates L-type Ca2+ channels and increases I(Ca,L) in both normal and HF myocytes. In HF, beta2-AR activation-induced augmentation of I(Ca,L) was increased. These effects are likely to be mediated through a cAMP-dependent mechanism and coupled with both stimulatory G protein and PTX-sensitive G protein.