Jul 1, 1996

Actions of the digitalis analogue strophanthidin on action potentials and L-type calcium current in single cells isolated from the rabbit atrioventricular node

British Journal of Pharmacology
J C Hancox, A J Levi


1. The atrioventricular node (AVN) of the heart is vital to normal cardiac function and is a major site of antiarrhythmic drug action. This study describes the effects of the cardiac glycoside analogue strophanthidin on spontaneous action potentials and L-type calcium current recorded from single AVN cells isolated from the rabbit heart. 2. With a standard KCl-based internal dialysis solution, exposure to 50 microM strophanthidin produced a progressive depolarization of the maximum diastolic potential and a reduction in action potential amplitude and upstroke velocity. Sustained application resulted in the loss of action potentials and occurrence of spontaneous 'bell-shaped' depolarizations. 3. Cells were whole-cell voltage clamped at -40 mV and depolarizing voltage clamps applied. With a standard KCl-based internal dialysis solution, exposure to 50 microM strophanthidin caused a large reduction of ICa,L at all potentials between -30 and +40 mV (n = 4). At + 10 mV, the mean ICa,L amplitude was reduced from -232 +/- 65 pA to -48 +/- 26 pA (P < 0.05; 1 test; n = 5 cells). 4. To record ICa,L more selectively, cells were dialysed with a Cs-based pipette solution. A short strophanthidin exposure reduced ICa,L amplitude from -250 +/-...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

L-Type Calcium Channels
Resting Potentials
Ionized calcium
Calcium ion
Oscillatory Muscle Contraction
Dialysis Procedure

Related Feeds

Cardiac Electrophysiology

Cardiac electrophysiology is the study of electrical activities of the heart and includes the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac events. Find the latest research on cardiac electrophysiology here.

Anti-Arrhythmic Drug Therapies

Anti-arrhythmic drugs are used to prevent abnormal heart rhythms. These medications are used in conditions including, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and atrial fibrillation. Discover the latest research on anti-arrhythmic drug therapies here.


Arrhythmias are abnormalities in heart rhythms, which can be either too fast or too slow. They can result from abnormalities of the initiation of an impulse or impulse conduction or a combination of both. Here is the latest research on arrhythmias.

Antiarrhythmic Agents: Mechanisms of Action

Understanding the mechanism of action of antiarrhythmic agents is essential in developing new medications as treatment of cardiac arrhythmias is currently limited by the reduced availability of safe and effective drugs. Discover the latest research on Antiarrhythmic Agents: Mechanism of Action here.