Journal Article

Role of nitric oxide, cyclic GMP and superoxide in inhibition by adenosine of calcium current in rabbit atrioventricular nodal cells

A.E Martynyuk, K.A Kane, S.M Cobbe and A.C Rankin

in Cardiovascular Research

Published on behalf of European Society of Cardiology

Volume 34, issue 2, pages 360-367
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0008-6363
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1755-3245 | DOI:

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Objective: To study the intracellular pathways which mediate the inhibitory actions of adenosine on isoprenaline-stimulated calcium current (ICa) in atrioventricular (AV) nodal myocytes. Methods: The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to record ICa from rabbit AV nodal cells, isolated by enzymatic and mechanical dispersion. Results: Isoprenaline, 0.1 μM, increased peak ICa from 0.58±0.08 to 1.23±0.1 nA, and this increase was reversibly inhibited by adenosine, 10 μM (83±6%), which we have previously shown to be mediated by nitric oxide (NO) production. A membrane-permeable analogue of cyclic GMP, 8-Br-cGMP (300 μM), an inhibitor of cGMP-stimulated phosphodiesterase, prevented the effect of adenosine on ICa. Methylene blue (10 μM), an inhibitor of NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase and a generator of superoxide (·O2), did not prevent, but increased, the inhibiting action of adenosine (49.5±6.6%, P<0.01). Methylene blue (50 μM) caused a reduction of ICa, with further inhibition when combined with adenosine. A ·O2-generating system, xanthine oxidase (0.02 U/ml) and purine (2.3 mM), also increased the inhibitory action of adenosine on ICa. Inhibition of ICa by adenosine in the presence of xanthine oxidase was not prevented by 8-Br-cGMP (300 μM) and was not influenced by pre-incubation of cells with a NO synthase inhibitor, l-NAME (0.5 mM). Conclusions: The inhibitory effect of adenosine on ICa in rabbit AV nodal myocytes can be mediated by two mechanisms—stimulation of cGMP-stimulated phosphodiesterase by NO-induced cGMP, and a mechanism which involves interaction with ·O2 production.

Keywords: Adenosine; Rabbit, heart; Atrioventricular nodal cells; Nitric oxide; cGMP; Superoxide; Calcium current

Journal Article.  4515 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine