Cardiac excitation waves under strong hyperkalemia condition
V. A. Tsvelaya+, I. Y. Kalita+*, A. V. Krasheninnikova+, R. A. Doronin+, N. N. Kudryashova+×, K. I. Agladze+
+Laboratory of Biophysics of Excitable Systems, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 141701 Dolgoprudniy, Russia
*Institute of Cell Biology and SynthSys, University of Edinburgh, EH9 3FF, Edinburgh, UK
×Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Normal blood levels of potassium are critical for maintaining normal heart
electrical rhythm. Both low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia) and high blood potassium
levels (hyperkalemia) can lead to abnormal heart rhythms. The aim of the work presented was to
study the effect of potassium concentration on the excitation wave in the cardiac tissue.
Results were obtained, both in the experimental model, which is a monolayer of neonatal rat
cardiomyocytes, and using the modified Korhonen computer model, designed for ventricular rat
neonatal cardiomyocytes. It was found the existence of non-sodium excitation waves under a
strong hyperkalemia (more than 10 mM K + in the extracellular environment) in the
cardiomyocyte monolayer, which was also confirmed by inactivation of sodium channels with a
specific channel blocker.