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

Sensitization of dog and guinea pig heart myofilaments to Ca2+ activation and the inotropic effect of pimobendan: comparison with milrinone.

We compared the effects of the newer inotropic drugs, pimobendan (UD-CG 115 BS) and milrinone (Win 47203), on the electrical, mechanical and biochemical activity of intact and detergent-skinned preparations of cardiac muscle. Both of these agents increased contractile force of guinea pig papillary muscle preparations bathed under physiological conditions or depolarized with 25 mM K+o. The positive inotropic action was associated with potentiation of the Ca2+-dependent slow action potentials (APS). Contractile force developed in the presence of 25 mM [K]o and 1 microM isoproterenol was increased further by addition of 50 microM pimobendan with no effect on the slow action potential. Milrinone (50 microM) did not produce a further increase in the force or potentiate the slow APs. Pimobendan, in a dose-dependent manner, increased active tension developed by chemically-skinned dog heart muscle fibers at submaximally activating concentrations of Ca2+, whereas milrinone did not. At pCa 6.25, the half-maximal concentration of pimobendan for stimulation of force development was about 40 microM. At maximally activating levels of Ca2+ (pCa 4.5), pimobendan had little or no effect on force development. The effect of pimobendan on force was paralleled by changes in the Ca2+-activated Mg-ATPase activity of the isometric skinned fiber preparations. Moreover, the tension-cost (unit increase in ATPase rate/unit increase in force) was unchanged in the presence of pimobendan. Milrinone did not affect ATP hydrolysis by the skinned fiber preparations. Force-pCa and ATPase-pCa relations of skinned fiber preparations contracting isometrically were shifted to the left by 0.15-0.20 pCa units in the presence of 50 microM pimobendan. In contrast, there was no effect of pimobendan on the ATPase activity of unloaded myofibrillar preparations. The stimulation of force and ATPase activity of the skinned heart muscle fibers could be accounted for by an effect of pimobendan on the affinity of the regulatory (low affinity, Ca2+-specific) binding sites of cardiac troponin C. Ca2+ binding to the "structural" high affinity sites of troponin C was slightly inhibited. The results indicate that the positive inotropic actions of pimobendan, but not milrinone, may involve activation of the cardiac myofilaments by a direct effect involving an increased affinity of the regulatory site on troponin C for Ca2+.[1]


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