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Ca(+)-induced Ca(2+) release tightly controls the function of ventricular cardiac myocytes under normal and pathological conditions. Two major factors contributing to the regulation of Ca(2+) release are the cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) content. We hypothesized that the amount of Ca(2+) released from the SR during each heart beat strongly defines the refractoriness of Ca(2+) release. To test this hypothesis, EGTA AM, a high-affinity, slow-association rate Ca(2+) chelator, was used as a tool to modify luminal SR Ca(2+) content. An analysis of the cytosolic and luminal SR Ca(2+) dynamics recorded from the epicardial layer of intact mouse hearts indicated that the presence of EGTA reduced the diastolic SR free Ca(2+) concentration and fraction of SR Ca(2+) depletion during each beat. In addition, this maneuver shortened the refractory period and accelerated the restitution of Ca(2+) release. As a consequence of the accelerated restitution, the frequency dependence of Ca(2+) alternans was significantly shifted toward higher heart rates, suggesting a role of luminal SR Ca(2+) in the genesis of this highly arrhythmogenic phenomenon. Thus, intra-SR Ca(2+) dynamics set the refractoriness and frequency dependence of Ca(2+) transients in subepicardial ventricular myocytes.


Dmytro Kornyeyev, Mariano Reyes, Ariel L Escobar. Luminal Ca(2+) content regulates intracellular Ca(2+) release in subepicardial myocytes of intact beating mouse hearts: effect of exogenous buffers. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2010 Jun;298(6):H2138-53

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PMID: 20382849

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