Properties of the pacemaker current (If) in latent pacemaker cells isolated from cat right atrium.

Z. Zhou, S. L. Lipsius

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32 Scopus citations


1. Single latent pacemaker cells were isolated from the Eustachian ridge of cat right atrium using Langendorff perfusion and enzyme dispersion techniques. Whole‐cell patch‐clamp techniques were used to study the hyperpolarization‐activated inward current (I(f)). 2. All cells studied beat rhythmically. Pacemaker activity was recorded in the voltage range ‐68 +/‐ 1 to ‐54 +/‐ 2 mV and its cycle length was 901 +/‐ 67 ms (72 +/‐ 5 beats min‐1) at 34‐36 degrees C. Cells were elongated with tapered ends, and appeared bent or crinkled without obvious striations. Mean cell diameter and length were 7.4 +/‐ 0.5 microns and 93.1 +/‐ 5.9 microns, respectively (n = 15). Input resistance and total membrane capacitance were 2.2 +/‐ 0.2 G omega and 27.8 +/‐ 3.1 pF, respectively. 3. Hyperpolarizing clamp steps more negative than ‐50 mV elicited a time‐dependent increasing inward current that was maximally activated at ‐120 mV. Activation of I(f) was well within the pacemaker voltage range. Half‐maximal activation voltage and slope factor were calculated, using a Boltzmann function, to be ‐80.5 mV and 8.4, respectively. 4. The fully activated current‐voltage (I‐V) relationship was approximately linear at voltages more negative than ‐30 mV and showed outward rectification at more positive voltages. The reversal potential of I(f) was ‐26 mV and the fully activated conductance was 1.75 +/‐ 0.14 nS (n = 21). Caesium (2 mM) blocked I(f) at voltages more negative than the reversal potential. Reducing extracellular Na+ or K+ shifted the reversal potential more negative, and increasing extracellular K+ exerted the opposite effect. Reducing extracellular Na+ decreased I(f) amplitude and the slope of the fully activated I‐V relationship, and elevated extracellular K+ increased I(f) amplitude and the slope of the fully activated I‐V relationship. 5. Some pacemaker cells exhibited a short delay in the onset of I(f) activation whereas other pacemaker cells exhibited little, if any, delay in activation. I(f) currents exhibiting no delay in activation were best fitted by a single exponential function with a mean time constant of 3.20 +/‐ 1.03 s at ‐70 mV (n = 4). 6. A nystatin‐permeabilized patch recording method was used to record spontaneous pacemaker action potentials and I(f) from the same pacemaker cell. Caesium (2 mM) inhibited I(f) by more than 90% (at ‐70 mV), and decreased the slope of diastolic depolarization, resulting in a 48 +/‐ 5% decrease in spontaneous rate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-523
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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