Aldosterone increases T-type calcium channel expression and in vitro beating frequency in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes

Cardiovascular Research
Nathalie LalevéeMichel F Rossier


Although aldosterone has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, its cellular mechanism of action on cardiomyocyte function is not yet completely elucidated. This study was designed to investigate the effect of aldosterone on calcium channel expression and cardiomyocyte contraction frequency. Cultured neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes were stimulated in vitro with 1 micromol/L aldosterone for 24 h. Calcium currents were then measured with the patch clamp technique, while calcium channel expression was assessed by real-time RT-PCR. In the present study, we show that aldosterone increases Ca2+ currents by inducing channel expression. Indeed, aldosterone led to a substantial increase of L- and T-type Ca2+ current amplitudes, and we found a concomitant 55% increase of the mRNA coding for alpha1C and beta2 subunits of cardiac L channels. Although T-type currents were relatively small under control conditions, they increased 4-fold and T channel alpha1H isoform expression rose in the same proportion after aldosterone treatment. Because T channels have been implicated in the modulation of membrane electrical activity, we investigated whether aldosterone affects the beating frequency of isola...Continue Reading


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