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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Low osmolarity transforms ventricular fibrillation from complex to highly organized, with a dominant high-frequency source.

BACKGROUND: An osmotic challenge activates volume-regulated chloride currents (I(Cl,vol)), resulting in depolarization of the resting membrane potential and shortening of action potential duration (APD). I(Cl,vol) is activated in ischemia/reperfusion, but the effects of osmotic challenges and I(Cl,vol) on ventricular fibrillation (VF) are unknown. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of hypo-osmotic and hypotonic stress and I(Cl,vol) activation on VF dynamics. METHODS: Guinea pig hearts were isolated, stained with di-4 ANEPPS to optically map action potentials (APs) from epicardium using a photodiode array, and perfused with iso-osmotic (low NaCl Ringer plus 45 mM mannitol) or hypo-osmotic (low NaCl Ringer) solution. RESULTS: Hypo-osmotic solution shortened APDs (143 +/- 5 ms --> 115 +/- 10 ms) and increased APD gradients between right and left ventricles (21 +/- 7 ms --> 41 +/- 10 ms, n = 4). In VF induced by burst stimulation, switching to hypo-osmotic solution increased VF frequencies (15.3 +/- 1.2 Hz to 28.9 +/- 3.6 Hz, n = 11), transforming complex fast Fourier transformation spectra to a single dominant high frequency on the left but not the right ventricle. Perfusion with the I(Cl,vol) blocker indanyloxyacetic acid-94 (10 muM) reversed organized VF to complex VF with lower (13.5 +/- 3.7 Hz in left ventricle) frequencies (n = 8), indicating that I(Cl,vol) underlies the changes in VF dynamics. Consistent with this interpretation, the levels of ClC-3 channel protein were 27% greater on left than right ventricles (n = 10), and computer simulations showed that insertion of I(Cl,vol) transformed complex VF to a stable spiral. CONCLUSION: Activation of I(Cl,vol) by decreasing osmolarity (45 mOsm) has a major impact on VF dynamics by transforming random multiple wavelets to a highly organized VF with a single dominant frequency.[1]


  1. Low osmolarity transforms ventricular fibrillation from complex to highly organized, with a dominant high-frequency source. Choi, B.R., Hatton, W.J., Hume, J.R., Liu, T., Salama, G. Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society. (2006) [Pubmed]
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