Modeling the cellular basis of altered excitation-contraction coupling in heart failure

Raimond L. Winslow, John Jeremy Rice, Saleet Jafri

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Ca transients measured in failing human ventricular myocytes exhibit reduced amplitude and slowed relaxation [Beuckelmann, D.J., Nabauer, M., Erdmann, E., 1992. Intracellular calcium handling in isolated ventricular myocytes from patients with terminal heart failure. Circulation 85, 1046- 1055; Gwathmey, J.K., Copelas, L., MacKinnon, R., Schoen, F.J., Feldman, M.D., Grossman, W., Morgan, J.P., 1987. Abnormal intracellular calcium handling in myocardium from patients with end-stage heart failure. Circ. Res. 61, 70-76; Kaab, S., Nuss, H. B., Chiamvimonvat, N., O'Rourke, B., Pak, P.H., Kass, D.A., Marban, E., Tomaselli, G.F., 1996. Ionic mechanism of action potential prolongation in ventricular myocytes from dogs with pacing-induced heart failure. Circ. Res. 78(2); Li, H.G., Jones, D.L., Yee, R., Klein, G.J., 1992. Electrophysiologic substrate associated with pacing-induced hert failure in dogs: potential value of programmed stimulation in predicting sudden death. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 19(2), 444-449; Vermeulen, J.T., McGuire, M.A., Opthof, T., Colonel, R., Bakker, J.M.T.d., Klopping, C., Janse, M.J., 1994. Triggered activity and automaticity in ventricular trabeculae of failing human and rabbit hearts. Cardiovasc. Res. 28, 1547-1554.] and blunted frequency dependence [Davies, C.H., Davia, K., Bennett, J.G., Pepper, J.R., Poole-Wilson, P.A., Harding, S.E., 1995. Reduced contraction and altered frequency response of isolated ventricular myocytes from patients with heart failure. Circulation, 92, 2540 2549; Hasenfuss, G., Reinecke, H., Studer, R., Meyer, M., Pieske, B., Holtz, J., Holubarsch, C., Posival, H., Just, H., Drexler, H., 1994. Relation between myocardial function and expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase in failing and nonfailing human myocardium. Circ. Res. 75, 434-442; Hasenfuss, G., Reinecke, H., Studer, R., Pieske, B., Meyer, M., Drexler, H., Just, H., 1996. Calcium cycling proteins and force frequency relationships in heart failure. Basic Res. Cardiol. 91, 17-22; Monte, F.D., O'Gara, P., Poole-Wilson, P.A., Yacoub, M., Harding, S.E., 1995. Cell geometry and contractile abnormalities of myocytes from failing human left ventricle. Cardiovasc. Res. 30, 281-290; Philips, P.J. Gwathmey, J.K., Feldman, M.D., Schoen, F.J. Grossman, W., Morgan, J.P., 1990. Post- extrasystolic potentiation and the force-frequency relationships: differential augmentation of myocardial contractility in working myocardium from patients with end-stage heart failure. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 22, 99- 110; Pieske, B., Hasenfuss, G., Holubarsch, C., Schwinger, R., Bohm, M., Just, H., 1992. Alerations of the force-frequency relationship in the failing human heart depend on the underlying cardiac disease. Basic Res. Cardiol. 87, 213-221.]. Analyses of protein levels in these failing hearts reveal that the SR Ca-ATPase is down-regulated on average by 50% and that the Na/Ca exchanger is upregulated on average by a factor of two. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that this altered pattern of expression of Ca handling proteins is sufficient to account for changes in excitation-contraction coupling properties measured experimentally at the cellular level. To do this, we represent an integrated model of excitation-contraction coupling in the guinea pig ventricular cell. The model is used to determine the effects of SR Ca-ATPase down-regulation and Na/Ca exchanger up-regulation on action potential duration, Ca transient shape and amplitude, and isometric force. Model analyses demonstrate that changes in Ca handling proteins play a direct and critical role in prolongation of action potential duration, and in reduction of contractile force in heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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