General physiology and biophysics. vol:6 issue:5 pages:409-24
Single sodium channel currents were analysed in cell attached patches from single ventricular cells of guinea pig hearts in the presence of a novel cardiotonic compound DPI 201-106. The mean single channel conductance of DPI-treated Na channels was not changed by DPI (20.8 +/- 4 pS, control, 3 patches; 21.3 +/- 1 pS with DPI, 5 mumol/1,3 patches). DPI voltage-dependently prolongs the cardiac sodium channel openings by removal of inactivation at potentials positive to -40 mV. At potentials negative to -40 mV a clustering of short openings at the very beginning of the depolarizing voltage steps can be observed causing a transient time course of the averaged currents. Long openings induced an extremely slow inactivation. Short openings, long openings and nulls appeared in groups referring to a modal gating behaviour of DPI-treated sodium channels. DPI-modified Na channels showed a monotonously prolonged mean open time with increased depolarizing voltage steps, e.g. the open state probability within a sweep was increased. However, the number of non-empty sweeps was decreased with the magnitude of the depolarizing steps, e.g. the probability of the channel being open as calculated from the averaged currents was voltage-dependently decreased by DPI (50% decrease at -50.7 +/- 9 9 mV, 3 patches). Short and long openings of DPI-modified channels could be separated by variation of the holding potential. The occurrence of long Na channel openings was much more suppressed by reducing the holding potential (half maximum inactivation at -112 +/- 8 mV, 4 patches) than that of short openings (half maximum inactivation at -88 +/- 8 mV, 4 patches). Otherwise, short living openings completely disappeared at potentials positive to -40 mV where the occurrence of long openings was favoured. The differential voltage dependence of blocking and activating effects of DPI on cardiac Na channels as well as the differential voltage dependence of the appearance of short and long openings refers to a modal gating behaviour of cardiac Na channels.