Quantitative comparison of cardiac ventricular myocyte electrophysiology and response to drugs in human and nonhuman species.
Explanations for arrhythmia mechanisms at the cellular level are usually based on experiments in nonhuman myocytes. However, subtle electrophysiological differences between species may lead to different rhythmic or arrhythmic cellular behaviors and drug response given the nonlinear and highly interactive cellular system. Using detailed and quantitatively accurate mathematical models for human, dog, and guinea pig ventricular action potentials (APs), we simulated and compared cell electrophysiology mechanisms and response to drugs. Under basal conditions (absence of β-adrenergic stimulation), Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase changes secondary to Na(+) accumulation determined AP rate dependence for human and dog but not for guinea pig where slow delayed rectifier current (I(Ks)) was the major rate-dependent current. AP prolongation with reduction of rapid delayed rectifier current (I(Kr)) and I(Ks) (due to mutations or drugs) showed strong species dependence in simulations, as in experiments. For humans, AP prolongation was 80% following I(Kr) block. It was 30% for dog and 20% for guinea pig. Under basal conditions, I(Ks) block was of no consequence for human and dog, but for guinea pig, AP prolongation after I(Ks) block was severe. However, with β-adrenergic stimulation, I(Ks) played an important role in all species, particularly in AP shortening at fast rate. Quantitative comparison of AP repolarization, rate-dependence mechanisms, and drug response in human, dog, and guinea pig revealed major species differences (e.g., susceptibility to arrhythmogenic early afterdepolarizations). Extrapolation from animal to human electrophysiology and drug response requires great caution.