Glutamine and glutamate limit the shortening of action potential duration in anoxia-challenged rabbit hearts

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In clinical conditions, amino acid supplementation is applied to improve contractile function, minimize ischemia/reperfusion injury, and facilitate postoperative recovery. It has been shown that glutamine enhances myocardial ATP/APD (action potential duration) and glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratios, and can increase hexosamine biosynthesis pathway flux, which is believed to play a role in cardioprotection. Here, we studied the effect of glutamine and glutamate on electrical activity in Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts. The hearts were supplied by Tyrode’s media with or without 2.5 mmol/L glutamine and 150 µmol/L glutamate, and exposed to two 6-min anoxias with 20-min recovery in between. Change in APD was detected using a monophasic action potential probe. A nonlinear mixed-effects regression technique was used to evaluate the effect of amino acids on APD over the experiment. Typically, the dynamic of APD change encompasses three phases: short transient increase (more prominent in the first episode), slow decrease, and fast increase (starting with the beginning of recovery). The effect of both anoxic challenge and glutamine/glutamate was cumulative, being more pronounced in the second anoxia. The amino acids’ protective effect became largest by the end of anoxia - 20.0% (18.9, 95% CI: [2.6 ms, 35.1 ms]), during the first anoxia and 36.6% (27.1, 95% CI: [7.7 ms, 46.6 ms]), during the second. Following the second anoxia, APD difference between control and supplemented hearts progressively increased, attaining 10.8% (13.6, 95% CI: [4.1 ms, 23.1 ms]) at the experiments’ end. Our data reveal APD stabilizing and suggest an antiarrhythmic capacity of amino acid supplementation in anoxic/ischemic conditions.




Drake, K. J., Shotwell, M. S., Wikswo, J. P., & Sidorov, V. Y. (2015). Glutamine and glutamate limit the shortening of action potential duration in anoxia-challenged rabbit hearts. Physiological Reports, 3(9).

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