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Our data demonstrates intrinsic differences between atrial and ventricular cardiac voltage-gated sodium currents (INa), leading to reduced maximum upstroke velocity of action potential and slower conduction, in left atria compared to ventricle. Reduced atrial INa is only detected at physiological membrane potentials and is driven by alterations in sodium channel biophysical properties and not by NaV1.5 protein expression. Flecainide displayed greater inhibition of atrial INa, greater reduction of maximum upstroke velocity of action potential, and slowed conduction in atrial cells and tissue.
Our work highlights differences in biophysical properties of sodium channels in left atria and ventricles and their response to flecainide. These differences can explain the relative safety of sodium channel blocker therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation.
- Sodium channels
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine