Beneficial clinical bradycardic effects of ivabradine (IVA) have been interpreted solely on the basis of If inhibition, because IVA specifically inhibits If in sinoatrial nodal pacemaker cells (SANC). However, it has been recently hypothesized that SANC normal automaticity is regulated by crosstalk between an "M clock," the ensemble of surface membrane ion channels, and a "Ca2+ clock," the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). We tested the hypothesis that crosstalk between the two clocks regulates SANC automaticity, and that indirect suppression of the Ca2+ clock further contributes to IVA-induced bradycardia. IVA (3μM) not only reduced If amplitude by 45±6% in isolated rabbit SANC, but the IVA-induced slowing of the action potential (AP) firing rate was accompanied by reduced SR Ca2+ load, slowed intracellular Ca2+ cycling kinetics, and prolonged the period of spontaneous local Ca2+ releases (LCRs) occurring during diastolic depolarization. Direct and specific inhibition of SERCA2 by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) had effects similar to IVA on LCR period and AP cycle length. Specifically, the LCR period and AP cycle length shift toward longer times almost equally by either direct perturbations of the M clock (IVA) or the Ca2+ clock (CPA), indicating that the LCR period reports the crosstalk between the clocks. Our numerical model simulations predict that entrainment between the two clocks that involves a reduction in INCX during diastolic depolarization is required to explain the experimentally AP firing rate reduction by IVA. In summary, our study provides new evidence that a coupled-clock system regulates normal cardiac pacemaker cell automaticity. Thus, IVA-induced bradycardia includes a suppression of both clocks within this system.
- Ca cycling
- Ion channels
- Sarcoplasmic reticulum
- Sinoatrial nodal pacemaker cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine