Sex differences in repolarization and slow delayed rectifier potassium current and their regulation by sympathetic stimulation in rabbits

Academic Article


  • Slow delayed rectifier potassium current (IKs) is important in action potential (AP) repolarization and repolarization reserve. We tested the hypothesis that there are sex-specific differences in IKs, AP, and their regulation by β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR's) using whole-cell patch-clamp. AP duration (APD90) was significantly longer in control female (F) than in control male (M) myocytes. Isoproterenol (ISO, 500 nM) shortened APD90 comparably in M and F, and was largely reversed by β1-AR blocker CGP 20712A (CGP, 300 nM). Inhibition of I Ks with chromanol 293B (10 μM) resulted in less APD prolongation in F at baseline (3.0 vs 8.9 %, p < 0.05 vs M) and even in the presence of ISO (5.4 vs 20.9 %, p < 0.05). This suggests that much of the ISO-induced APD abbreviation in F is independent of IKs. In F, baseline I Ks was 42 % less and was more weakly activated by ISO (19 vs 68 % in M, p < 0.01). ISO enhancement of IKs was comparably attenuated by CGP in M and F. After ovariectomy, IKs in F had greater enhancement by ISO (72 %), now comparable to control M. After orchiectomy, IKs in M was only slightly enhanced by ISO (23 %), comparable to control F. Pretreatment with thapsigargin (to block SR Ca release) had bigger impact on ISO-induced APD shortening in F than that in M (p < 0.01). In conclusion, we found that there are sex differences in IKs, AP, and their regulation by β-AR's that are modulated by sex hormones, suggesting the potential for sex-specific antiarrhythmic therapy. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhu Y; Ai X; Oster RA; Bers DM; Pogwizd SM
  • Start Page

  • 805
  • End Page

  • 818
  • Volume

  • 465
  • Issue

  • 6