Oxidative Stress-Induced Afterdepolarizations and Protein Kinase C Signaling
Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and activation of protein kinase C (PKC) have been implicated in alterations of myocyte function in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Changes in cellular Ca2+ handling and electrophysiological properties also occur in these states and may contribute to mechanical dysfunction and arrhythmias. While ET-1 or PKC stimulation induces cellular hypertrophy in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs), a system widely used in studies of hypertrophic signaling, there is little data about electrophysiological changes. Here we studied the effects of ET-1 (100 nM) or the PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA, 1 μM) on ionic currents in NRVMs. The acute effects of PMA or ET-1 (≤30 min) were small or insignificant. However, PMA or ET-1 exposure for 48-72 h increased cell capacitance by 100 or 25%, respectively, indicating cellular hypertrophy. ET-1 also slightly increased Ca2+ current density (T and L type). Na+/Ca2+ exchange current was increased by chronic pretreatment with either PMA or ET-1. In contrast, transient outward and delayed rectifier K+ currents were strongly downregulated by PMA or ET-1 pretreatment. Inward rectifier K+ current tended toward a decrease at larger negative potential, but time-independent outward K+ current was unaltered by either treatment. The enhanced inward and reduced outward currents also result in action potential prolongation after PMA or ET-1 pretreatment. We conclude that chronic PMA or ET-1 exposure in cultured NRVMs causes altered functional expression of cardiac ion currents, which mimic electrophysiological changes seen in whole animal and human hypertrophy and heart failure.