Late INa Inhibition as an Antiarrhythmic Strategy
Late sodium channel current (late INa) is considered to be an antiarrhythmic target. The prime antiarrhythmic mechanisms of late INa inhibition have been suggested to be (1) suppression of intracellular calcium [Cai]-mediated rhythmic activity (through reduction in Cai secondary to the decrease in intracellular sodium [Nai]) and (2) normalization of repolarization. Endogenous late INa is a small current and acceleration of the heart rate decreases late INa density. Late INa influx may significantly contribute to Nai loading, but it seems to largely occur under the combined conditions of augmented late INa density, bradycardia, and prolonged repolarization. At the same time, the relative contribution of late INa (including endogenous) in any type of prolonged cardiac repolarization is critical. Sodium channel blockers inhibit both late INa and peak INa, and a specific block of late INa might be achieved at slow and normal but seems not at rapid activation rates, at which peak INa, a much greater current, is also likely to be inhibited. The antiarrhythmic potential of a specific inhibition of late INa seems to best fit for, or may be limited to, the prevention of arrhythmias associated with prolonged repolarization, but it seems to be applicable to all types of arrhythmic abnormalities with elongated cardiac repolarization.