In catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), cardiac Purkinje cells (PCs) appear more susceptible to Ca2+ dysfunction than ventricular myocytes (VMs). The underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Using a CPVT mouse (RyR2R4496C+/Cx40eGFP), we tested whether PC intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) dysregulation results from a constitutive [Na+]i surplus relative to VMs.Methods and Results—
Simultaneous optical mapping of voltage and [Ca2+]i in CPVT hearts showed that spontaneous Ca2+ release preceded pacing-induced triggered activity at subendocardial PCs. On simultaneous current-clamp and Ca2+ imaging, early and delayed afterdepolarizations trailed spontaneous Ca2+ release and were more frequent in CPVT PCs than CPVT VMs. As a result of increased activity of mutant ryanodine receptor type 2 channels, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ load, measured by caffeine-induced Ca2+ transients, was lower in CPVT VMs and PCs than respective controls, and sarcoplasmic reticulum fractional release was greater in both CPVT PCs and VMs than respective controls. [Na+]i was higher in both control and CPVT PCs than VMs, whereas the density of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger current was not different between PCs and VMs. Computer simulations using a PC model predicted that the elevated [Na+]i of PCs promoted delayed afterdepolarizations, which were always preceded by spontaneous Ca2+ release events from hyperactive ryanodine receptor type 2 channels. Increasing [Na+]i monotonically increased delayed afterdepolarization frequency. Confocal imaging experiments showed that postpacing Ca2+ spark frequency was highest in intact CPVT PCs, but such differences were reversed on saponin-induced membrane permeabilization, indicating that differences in [Na+]i played a central role.Conclusions—
In CPVT mice, the constitutive [Na+]i excess of PCs promotes triggered activity and arrhythmogenesis at lower levels of stress than VMs.