Functional reentry in cultured monolayers of neonatal rat cardiac cells
Previous studies of reentrant-arrhythmias in the heart have been performed in computer models and tissue experiments. We hypothesized that confluent monolayers of cardiac cells can provide a simple, controlled, and reproducible experimental model of reentry. Neonatal rat ventricular cells were cultured on 22-mm-diameter coverslips and stained with the voltage-sensitive dye RH-237. Recordings of transmembrane potentials were obtained from 61 sites with the use of a contact fluorescence imaging system. An electrical field stimulus, followed by a point stimulus, induced 39 episodes of sustained reentry and 21 episodes of nonsustained reentry. Sustained reentry consisted of single-loop (n = 18 monolayers) or figure-of-eight (n = 4) patterns. The cycle length, action potential duration at 80% repolarization, and conduction velocity were (in means ± SE) 358 ± 33 ms, 118 ± 12 ms, and 12.9 ± 1.0 cm/s for single loop and 311 ± 78 ms, 137 ± 18 ms, and 7.8 ± 1.3 cm/s for figure-of-eight, respectively. Electrical termination by 6- to 13-V/cm field pulses or 15- to 20-V point stimuli was successful in 60% of the attempts. In summary, highly stable reentry can be induced, sustained for extensive periods of time, and electrically terminated in monolayers of cultured neonatal rat cardiac myocytes.
Iravanian, S; Nabutovsky, Y; Kong, CR; Saha, S; Bursac, N; Tung, L
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