Comparison of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling in isolated ventricular myocytes between rat and mouse

Kadon K. Hintz, Faye L. Norby, Jinhong Duan, Michael A. Cinnamon, Van A. Doze, Jun Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Transgenic animals offer many advantages for physiological study. The mouse is the most extensively utilized mammalian model for gene modification. Isolated ventricular myocytes are pivotal for assessment of cardiac function by allowing direct cellular and environmental manipulation without interference from compensatory mechanisms that may exist in vivo. This study was designed to compare the basic excitation-contraction coupling properties of mouse and rat ventricular myocytes. Cardiac myocytes were isolated from age- and gender-matched mice (FVB and C57BL/6) and rats (Sprague-Dawley (SD) and Wistar). Mechanical and intracellular Ca2+ properties were measured with an IonOptix SoftEdge system, including peak shortening (PS), time-to-PS (TPS), time-to-90% relengthening (TR90), maximal velocity of shortening and relengthening (±dL/dt), and intracellular Ca2+ fura-2 fluorescence intensity and decay rate (τ). Resting cell length was variable among the different species or strains. PS from FVB group was significantly higher than the SD group. TPS and TR90 were significantly shorter in mice. +dL/dt was similar among all groups whereas -dL/dt was significantly faster in the C57BL/6 group compared to the rat groups. Resting intracellular Ca2+ was lower in mice than in rats, and Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release was variable among the four groups. Intracellular Ca2+ decay was slower in Wistar compared to all other groups. The myocytes from C57BL/6 did not respond to increases in extracellular Ca2+. Myocytes from the FVB group exhibited a lesser reduction in PS in response to elevated stimulus frequency. These data suggest that inherent differences between strains or species should be taken into consideration when comparing results from these different animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Excitation-contraction coupling
  • Intracellular Ca transient
  • Mouse
  • Rat
  • Species
  • Strain
  • Ventricular myocyte shortening


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