The electrogenic Na+/HCO3− cotransport modulates resting membrane potential and action potential duration in cat ventricular myocytes

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Abstract

Perforated whole-cell configuration of patch clamp was used to determine the contribution of the electrogenic Na+/HCO3− cotransport (NBC) on the shape of the action potential in cat ventricular myocytes. Switching from Hepes to HCO3− buffer at constant extracellular pH (pHo) hyperpolarized resting membrane potential (RMP) by 2.67 ± 0.42 mV (n= 9, P < 0.05). The duration of action potential measured at 50% of repolarization time (APD50) was 35.8 ± 6.8% shorter in the presence of HCO3− than in its absence (n= 9, P < 0.05). The anion blocker SITS prevented and reversed the HCO3−-induced hyperpolarization and shortening of APD. In addition, no HCO3−-induced hyperpolarization and APD shortening was observed in the absence of extracellular Na+. Quasi-steady-state currents were evoked by 8 s duration voltage-clamped ramps ranging from −130 to +30 mV. A novel component of SITS-sensitive current was observed in the presence of HCO3−. The HCO3−-sensitive current reversed at −87 ± 5 mV (n= 7), a value close to the expected reversal potential of an electrogenic Na+/HCO3− cotransport with a HCO3−:Na+ stoichiometry ratio of 2: 1. The above results allow us to conclude that the cardiac electrogenic Na+/HCO3− cotransport has a relevant influence on RMP and APD of cat ventricular cells.

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