β-Adrenergic stimulation differentially modulates different K(+) channels and thus fine-tunes cardiac action potential (AP) repolarization. However, it remains unclear how the proportion of I Ks, I Kr, and I K1 currents in the same cell would be altered by β-adrenergic stimulation, which would change the relative contribution of individual K(+) current to the total repolarization reserve. In this study, we used an innovative AP-clamp sequential dissection technique to directly record the dynamic I Ks, I Kr, and I K1 currents during the AP in guinea pig ventricular myocytes under physiologically relevant conditions. Our data provide quantitative measures of the magnitude and time course of I Ks, I Kr, and I K1 currents in the same cell under its own steady-state AP, in a physiological milieu, and with preserved Ca(2+) homeostasis. We found that isoproterenol treatment significantly enhanced I Ks, moderately increased I K1, but slightly decreased I Kr in a dose-dependent manner. The dominance pattern of the K(+) currents was I Kr > I K1 > I Ks at the control condition, but reversed to I Kr < I K1 < I Ks following β-adrenergic stimulation. We systematically determined the changes in the relative contribution of I Ks, I Kr, and I K1 to cardiac repolarization during AP at different adrenergic states. In conclusion, the β-adrenergic stimulation fine-tunes the cardiac AP morphology by shifting the power of different K(+) currents in a dose-dependent manner. This knowledge is important for designing antiarrhythmic drug strategies to treat hearts exposed to various sympathetic tones.
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