Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 428, Issue 1, pp 84–90 | Cite as

Characterization of the sodium currents in isolated human cardiocytes

  • M. Schneider
  • T. Proebstle
  • V. Hombach
  • A. Hannekum
  • R. Rüdel
Heart Circulation, Respiration and Blood; Environmental and Exercise Physiology


The whole-cell recording technique was used to register Na+ currents from 403 atrial cardiocytes isolated from 80 human biopsies. With intracellular [Na+] ([Na+]i) raised to 70 mM, and at physiological extracellular [Na+] ([Na+]e, 145 mM) and room temperature, the Na+ currents were small enough for the error of the voltage clamp not to exceed 2 mV (series resistances 0.4–2 MΩ). The threshold potential of the Na+ current was −64.0±7.7 mV. The peak amplitude was at −30.0 ±6.2 mV. The time course of fast inactivation was satisfactorily described with a single exponential. The time constant of inactivation was 2.0 ms at −55 mV and asymptotically approached 0.2 ms at positive membrane potentials. The steady-state inactivation curve was well fitted by a single Boltzmann distribution. Increasing the prepulse duration from 32 to 512 ms shifted the inflexion point of the curve from −61.7 ±6.4 to −72.2±2.6 mV. The time course of slow inactivation was also well described by a single exponential, the time constant ranging from 76.1±29.3 ms at −115 mV to 18.6 ±7.8 ms at −55 mV. Fitting the time course of recovery from inactivation required two time constants. At a recovery potential of −135 mV these were 1.6±0.2 and 8.6±2.9ms and 15.9±9.4 and 53.2±33.3 ms at −95 mV. A 50% block of the Na+ currents was achieved by tetrodotoxin at 10 μM. It is concluded that the properties of human cardiac Na+ channels are similar to those of the juvenile Na+ channels of human skeletal muscle.

Key words

Human atrium Isolated cardiocytes Whole-cell recording Sodium currents Inactivation kinetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Schneider
    • 1
  • T. Proebstle
    • 1
  • V. Hombach
    • 2
  • A. Hannekum
    • 3
  • R. Rüdel
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für Allgemeine Physiologie der Universität UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Abteilung Innere Medizin II der Universität UlmUlmGermany
  3. 3.Abteilung Herzchirurgie der Universität UlmUlmGermany

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