Enhancement of rabbit cardiac sodium channels by β-adrenergic stimulation

J. J. Matsuda, H. Lee, E. F. Shibata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Voltage-dependent sodium channels from a variety of tissues are known to be phosphorylated by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase, protein kinase A. However, the functional significance of sodium channel phosphorylation is not clearly understood. Using whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques, we show that sodium currents (INas) in rabbit cardiac myocytes are enhanced by isoproterenol (ISO). This enhancement of INa by ISO 1) is holding potential dependent, 2) can be mimicked by forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP, and 3) is accompanied by an increase in the rate of Na+ channel inactivation. In single-channel, inside-out patch experiments, the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A also enhances INa and increases the rate of inactivation, suggesting that cardiac Na+ channel phosphorylation may be physiologically important. Addition of the protein kinase A inhibitor to the pipette solution in whole-cell experiments blocks the stimulatory effect of forskolin without blocking the effect of ISO, suggesting that ISO also enhances INa through a cAMP-independent pathway. To determine if ISO may stimulate INa through a direct G protein pathway, single channels were recorded in the presence of the Gs-activating GTP analogue, GTPβS, and the stimulatory G protein subunit, G. Both of these agents enhanced INa without affecting the rate of Na+ channel inactivation. These results suggest that ISO enhances rabbit cardiac INa through a dual (direct and indirect) G protein regulatory pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • Isoproterenol
  • Protein kinase A
  • Sodium channels
  • β-adrenergic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology


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