Enhanced cardiac late Na current (late INa) and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR)-Ca2+-leak are both highly arrhythmogenic. This study seeks to identify signalling pathways interconnecting late INa and SR-Ca2+-leak in atrial cardiomyocytes (CMs).
Methods and results
In murine atrial CMs, SR-Ca2+-leak was increased by the late INa enhancer Anemonia sulcata toxin II (ATX-II). An inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (Autocamide-2-related inhibitory peptide), protein kinase A (H89), or late INa (Ranolazine or Tetrodotoxin) all prevented ATX-II-dependent SR-Ca2+-leak. The SR-Ca2+-leak induction by ATX-II was not detected when either the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger was inhibited (KBR) or in CaMKIIδc-knockout mice. FRET measurements revealed increased cAMP levels upon ATX-II stimulation, which could be prevented by inhibition of adenylyl cyclases (ACs) 5 and 6 (NKY 80) but not by inhibition of phosphodiesterases (IBMX), suggesting PKA activation via an AC-dependent increase of cAMP levels. Western blots showed late INa-dependent hyperphosphorylation of CaMKII as well as PKA target sites at ryanodine receptor type-2 (-S2814 and -S2808) and phospholamban (-Thr17, -S16). Enhancement of late INa did not alter Ca2+-transient amplitude or SR-Ca2+-load. However, upon late INa activation and simultaneous CaMKII inhibition, Ca2+-transient amplitude and SR-Ca2+-load were increased, whereas PKA inhibition reduced Ca2+-transient amplitude and load and additionally slowed Ca2+ elimination. In atrial CMs from patients with atrial fibrillation, inhibition of late INa, CaMKII, or PKA reduced the SR-Ca2+-leak.
Late INa exerts distinct effects on Ca2+ homeostasis in atrial myocardium through activation of CaMKII and PKA. Inhibition of late INa represents a potential approach to attenuate CaMKII activation and decreases SR-Ca2+-leak in atrial rhythm disorders. The interconnection with the cAMP/PKA system further increases the antiarrhythmic potential of late INa inhibition.