Drug potency on inhibiting late Na+ current is sensitive to gating modifier and current region where drug effects were measured

Min Wu, P. N. Tran, Jiansong Sheng, Aaron L. Randolph, Wendy W. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cardiac late Na+ current (INaL) contributes to ventricular action potential duration. Pathological increase in INaL is arrhythmogenic, and inhibition of INaL offers protection against ventricular repolarization disturbance. Recently, two INaL datasets generated by different laboratories that assessed current inhibition by a panel of clinical drugs as a part of the Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative were published. The results revealed a surprising degree of data variability despite of the use of a standardized voltage protocol. This study investigated whether remaining procedural differences related to experimental methods and data analysis associated with these datasets can produce differences in INaL pharmacology. Methods: Whole cell voltage clamp recordings were performed on cells expressing NaV1.5 α- and β1-subunits to study: 1) the impact of gating modifiers used to augment INaL (ATX-II vs. veratridine), internal solution composition (with vs. without ATP and GTP), and recording temperature (23 °C vs 37 °C) on stability of INaL measured across the duration of a patch clamp experiment; 2) mechanisms of each gating modifier on Na+ channels; and 3) effects of six drugs (lidocaine, mexiletine, chloroquine, ranolazine, ritonavir, and verapamil) on INaL induced by either gating modifier. Results: Stability of INaL is affected by the choice of gating modifier, presence of nucleotides in the internal solution, and recording temperature. ATX-II and veratridine produced different changes in Na+ channel gating, inducing mechanistically distinct INaL. Drug potencies on inhibiting INaL were dependent on the choice of gating modifier and current region where drug effects were measured. Discussion: INaL pharmacology can be impacted by all experimental factors examined in this study. The effect of gating modifier and current region used to quantify drug inhibition alone led to 30× difference in half inhibitory concentration (IC50) for ritonavir, demonstrating that substantial difference in drug inhibition can be produced. Drug potencies on inhibiting INaL derived from different patch clamp studies may thus not be generalizable. For INaL pharmacology to be useful for in silico modeling or interpreting drug-induced changes in cardiac action potentials or ECG, standardizing INaL experimental procedures including data analysis methods is necessary to minimize data variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106605
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Cardiac safety pharmacology
  • CiPA
  • In vitro electrophysiology
  • Ion channel voltage protocol
  • Na1.5
  • SCN5A
  • Voltage clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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