Original Article

Effects of neferine on Kv4.3 channels expressed in HEK293 cells and ex vivo electrophysiology of rabbit hearts

Chen WANG, Yu-fang CHEN, Xiao-qing QUAN, Huan WANG, Rui ZHANG, Jun-hua XIAO, Jia-ling WANG, Cun-tai ZHANG2, Ji-zhou XIANG, Qiang TANG
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2015.83


Aim: Neferine is an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from seed embryos of Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn), which has a variety of biological activities. In this study we examined the effects of neferine on Kv4.3 channels, a major contributor to the transient outward current (Ito) in rabbit heart, and on ex vivo electrophysiology of rabbit hearts.
Methods: Whole-cell Kv4.3 currents were recorded in HEK293 cells expressing human cardiac Kv4.3 channels using patch-clamp technique. Arterially perfused wedges of rabbit left ventricles (LV) were prepared, and transmembrane action potentials were simultaneously recorded from epicardial (Epi) and endocardial (Endo) sites with floating microelectrodes together with transmural electrocardiography (ECG).
Results: Neferine (0.1–100 μmol/L) dose-dependently and reversibly inhibited Kv4.3 currents (the IC50 value was 8.437 μmol/L, and the maximal inhibition at 100 μmol/L was 44.12%). Neferine (10 μmol/L) caused a positive shift of the steady-state activation curve of Kv4.3 currents, and a negative shift of the steady-state inactivation curve. Furthermore, neferine (10 μmol/L) accelerated the inactivation but not the activation of Kv4.3 currents, and markedly slowed the recovery of Kv4.3 currents from inactivation. Neferine-induced blocking of Kv4.3 currents was frequency-dependent. In arterially perfused wedges of rabbit LV, neferine (1, 3, and 10 μmol/L) dose-dependently prolonged the QT intervals and action potential durations (APD) at both Epi and Endo sites, and caused dramatic increase of APD10 at Epi sites.
Conclusion: Neferine inhibits Kv4.3 channels likely by blocking the open state and inactivating state channels, which contributes to neferine-induced dramatic increase of APD10 at Epi sites of rabbit heart.
Keywords: Kv4.3; HEK293 cells; whole-cell patch-clamp; rabbit left ventricular wedge; action potential duration; electrocardiography

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