Functional reentry in cultured monolayers of neonatal rat cardiac cells

Shahriar Iravanian, Yelena Nabutovsky, Chae Ryon Kong, Sumita Saha, Nenad Bursac, Leslie Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Previous studies of reentrant-arrhythmias in the heart have been performed in computer models and tissue experiments. We hypothesized that confluent monolayers of cardiac cells can provide a simple, controlled, and reproducible experimental model of reentry. Neonatal rat ventricular cells were cultured on 22-mm-diameter coverslips and stained with the voltage-sensitive dye RH-237. Recordings of transmembrane potentials were obtained from 61 sites with the use of a contact fluorescence imaging system. An electrical field stimulus, followed by a point stimulus, induced 39 episodes of sustained reentry and 21 episodes of nonsustained reentry. Sustained reentry consisted of single-loop (n = 18 monolayers) or figure-of-eight (n = 4) patterns. The cycle length, action potential duration at 80% repolarization, and conduction velocity were (in means ± SE) 358 ± 33 ms, 118 ± 12 ms, and 12.9 ± 1.0 cm/s for single loop and 311 ± 78 ms, 137 ± 18 ms, and 7.8 ± 1.3 cm/s for figure-of-eight, respectively. Electrical termination by 6- to 13-V/cm field pulses or 15- to 20-V point stimuli was successful in 60% of the attempts. In summary, highly stable reentry can be induced, sustained for extensive periods of time, and electrically terminated in monolayers of cultured neonatal rat cardiac myocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H449-H456
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 54-1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Optical mapping
  • Voltage-sensitive dye

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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