Modulation of repolarization in rabbit Purkinje and ventricular myocytes coupled by a variable resistance

Academic Article


  • Purkinje-ventricular junctions (PVJs) have been implicated as potential sites of arrhythmogenesis, in part because of the dispersion of action potential duration (APD) between Purkinje (P) and ventricular (V) myocytes. To characterize electrotonic modulation of APD as a function of junctional resistance (R(j)), we coupled single isolated rabbit P and V myocytes with an electronic circuit. In seven of eight PV myocyte pairs, both APDs shortened on coupling at R(j) = 50 MΩ. This was in contrast to modulation of APD in paired ventricular myocytes, which demonstrated APD shortening of the intrinsically longer action potential and APD prolongation of the intrinsically shorter action potential. Companion computer simulations, performed to suggest possible mechanisms for the paradoxical shortening of the V action potential in paired P and V myocytes, showed that the difference in intrinsic peak plateau potentials (V(pp)) of the P and V myocytes determined whether the V action potential shortened or prolonged on coupling. This difference in V(pp) caused a large, repolarizing coupling current to flow to the V myocyte, contributing to early inactivation of the L-type calcium current and early activation of the inward rectifier current. These results suggest that intrinsic differences in phase 1 repolarization could yield differing patterns of APD shortening or prolongation in the network of subendocardial PVJs, leaving some PVJs vulnerable to conduction of premature stimuli while other PVJs remain refractory.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huelsing DJ; Spitzer KW; Cordeiro JM; Pollard AE
  • Volume

  • 276
  • Issue

  • 2 45-2