Influence of dynamic gap junction resistance on impulse propagation in ventricular myocardium: a computer simulation study.
The gap junction connecting cardiac myocytes is voltage and time dependent. This simulation study investigated the effects of dynamic gap junctions on both the shape and conduction velocity of a propagating action potential. The dynamic gap junction model is based on that described by Vogel and Weingart (J. Physiol. (Lond.). 1998, 510:177-189) for the voltage- and time-dependent conductance changes measured in cell pairs. The model assumes that the conductive gap junction channels have four conformational states. The gap junction model was used to couple 300 cells in a linear strand with membrane dynamics of the cells defined by the Luo-Rudy I model. The results show that, when the cells are tightly coupled (6700 channels), little change occurs in the gap junction resistance during propagation. Thus, for tight coupling, there are negligible differences in the waveshape and propagation velocity when comparing the dynamic and static gap junction representations. For poor coupling (85 channels), the gap junction resistance increases 33 MOmega during propagation. This transient change in resistance resulted in increased transjunctional conduction delays, changes in action potential upstroke, and block of conduction at a lower junction resting resistance relative to a static gap junction model. The results suggest that the dynamics of the gap junction enhance cellular decoupling as a possible protective mechanism of isolating injured cells from their neighbors.
Henriquez, AP; Vogel, R; Muller-Borer, BJ; Henriquez, CS; Weingart, R; Cascio, WE
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