The Major Role of IK1 in Mechanisms of Rotor Drift in the Atria: A Computational Study
- Omer Berenfeld
- Clinical Medicine Insights. Cardiology
Sudden increases in heart rate cause accumulation of K+ in the extracellular space. However, the exact relationship between rate and extracellular K+ concentration ([K+](o)) in vivo is unknown. We measured [K+](o) in right atria of anesthetized dogs by using K(+)-sensitive electrodes. Peak increase in [K+](o) ranged from 0.18 +/- 0.04 mM [means +/- SE; cycle length (CL) = 350 ms] to 0.80 +/- 0.09 mM (CL = 250 ms) above baseline (3.50 +/- 0.08 mM at CL = 380 ms; n = 5). During rapid pacing-induced atrial fibrillation, peak increase in [K+](o) averaged 0.80 +/- 0.07 mM (n = 5). Whole cell current-clamp measurements in single right atrial myocytes (n = 5) showed that raising [K+](o) from 3 to 5 mM in 1-mM steps progressively depolarized resting membrane potential and reduced both phase 0 action potential amplitude and maximal upstroke velocity. Multisite epicardial mapping (n = 4) demonstrated that sudden rate increases changed longitudinal conduction velocity (CV(L)) by -3.6 +/- 1.8% to -5.9 +/- 1.2% over a CL range of 330 to 250 ms. Our observations suggest that rate-related [K+](o) accumulation in vivo is of sufficient magnitude to modulate those cellular electrophysiological properties that determine atrial CV(L).