Modeling the Effect of Kv1.5 Block on the Canine Action Potential

J. Almquist, M. Wallman, I. Jacobson, and M. Jirstrand. Biophysical Journal, Volume 99, Issue 9, Pages 2726-2736, 3 November 2010.

A wide range of ion channels have been considered as potential targets for pharmacological treatment of atrial fibrillation. The Kv1.5 channel, carrying the IKur current, has received special attention because it contributes to repolarization in the atria but is absent or weakly expressed in ventricular tissue. The dog serves as an important animal model for electrophysiological studies of the heart and mathematical models of the canine atrial action potential (CAAP) have been developed to study the interplay between ionic currents. To enable more-realistic studies on the effects of Kv1.5 blockers on the CAAP in silico, two continuous-time Markov models of the guarded receptor type were formulated for Kv1.5 and subsequently inserted into the Ramirez-Nattel-Courtemanche model of the CAAP. The main findings were: 1), time- and state-dependent Markov models of open-channel Kv1.5 block gave significantly different results compared to a time- and state-independent model with a downscaled conductance; 2), the outcome of Kv1.5 block on the macroscopic system variable APD90 was dependent on the precise mechanism of block; and 3), open-channel block produced a reverse use-dependent prolongation of APD90. This study suggests that more-complex ion-channel models are a prerequisite for quantitative modeling of drug effects.

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Almquist, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • M. Wallman, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre, Oxford University Computing Laboratory
  • I. Jacobson, AstraZeneca R&D, Mölndal
  • M. Jirstrand, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre

Photo credits: Nic McPhee