Blockade of cardiac sodium channels by amitriptyline and diphenylhydantoin. Evidence for two use-dependent binding sites.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cardiac toxicity is a frequent manifestation in amitriptyline overdose and is felt to be due, in part, to sodium channel blockade by the drug. Another agent with sodium channel blocking properties, diphenylhydantoin, has been used clinically to reverse cardiac conduction abnormalities induced by amitriptyline. This reversal of toxicity is believed to occur secondary to competition for the sodium channel binding site. We evaluated individually and in combination the effects of amitriptyline (0.4 microM) and diphenylhydantoin (10-80 microM) on the sodium current in isolated rabbit atrial and ventricular myocytes at 17 degrees C. Using the whole-cell variant of the patch-clamp technique, we found that both amitriptyline and diphenylhydantoin reduced the sodium current in a use-dependent fashion. The time constant of recovery (tau r) from block by amitriptyline at -130 mV was very slow (13.6 +/- 3.2 seconds), whereas tau r during diphenylhydantoin exposure was fast (0.71 +/- 0.21 seconds, p less than 0.0001 compared with amitriptyline). During exposure of cells to a mixture of the two drugs, tau r was found to be 6.6 +/- 1.8 seconds, but no evidence of direct competition between amitriptyline and diphenylhydantoin was seen. Attempts to fit the recovery data of the mixture to two exponentials resulted in no significant improvement in the fit when compared with that using a single exponential. Use of the sodium channel blocking agent lidocaine (similar kinetics to diphenylhydantoin) in competition with amitriptyline resulted in findings consistent with direct competition of these two drugs for a single binding site. These observations prompted us to evaluate the possibility that diphenylhydantoin was not acting at (and therefore not competing for) the same channel binding site as amitriptyline. Experiments altering pHi and pHo revealed dramatic differences between amitriptyline and diphenylhydantoin. When pHo was increased from 7.4 to 8.0, tau r was reduced approximately threefold (from 13.6 +/- 3.2 to 4.2 +/- 0.1 seconds, p less than 0.0001) during exposure to amitriptyline, but no effect was seen on tau r after exposure to diphenylhydantoin. Conversely, when pHi was increased from 7.3 to 8.0, tau r after amitriptyline was unaffected, but tau r after diphenylhydantoin markedly increased (from 0.71 +/- 0.21 to 2.60 +/- 1.30 seconds, p less than 0.001). Additionally, diphenylhydantoin block demonstrated profound voltage dependence across the range of -130 to -90 mV, whereas amitriptyline block appeared less voltage sensitive. Single-channel studies using patch-clamp techniques in isolated ventricular myocytes supported these data.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Barber, MJ; Starmer, CF; Grant, AO

Published Date

  • September 1, 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 69 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 677 - 696

PubMed ID

  • 1651817

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-7330

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/01.res.69.3.677


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States