Effects of left ventricular hypertrophy on force and Ca2+ handling in isolated rat myocardium

Lars S. Maier, Rolf Brandes, Burkert Pieske, Donald M Bers

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52 Scopus citations


To study the effect of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy on force and Ca2+ handling in isolated rat myocardium, LV hypertrophy was induced in rats by banding of the abdominal aorta. After 16 wk, arterial pressure was assessed by catheterization. LV trabeculae were isolated and loaded with indo 1 salt by iontophoretic injection. Isometric force and intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were measured at stimulation frequencies between 0.25 and 3 Hz and rest intervals between 2 and 240 s. Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content was also investigated using rapid cooling contractures (RCC). Systolic and diastolic pressure as well as heart weight-to-body weight ratios were significantly elevated in banded compared with control animals (167 vs. 117 mmHg, 108 vs. 83 mmHg, and 4.6 vs. 4.0 mg/g, respectively). At high frequencies, twitch relaxation and [Ca2+]i decline rates were significantly slower in banded compared with control rats, and diastolic [Ca2+]i was higher in the banded rat muscles (at 3 Hz, force half-time = 83 vs. 68 ms; time constant of [Ca2+]i decline = 208 vs. 118 ms; and diastolic [Ca2+]i = 505 vs. 353 nM). These differences could not be ascribed to altered Na+/Ca2+ exchange, since twitch relaxation and Ca2+ handling were not different between groups in the presence of caffeine (or cyclopiazonic acid plus ryanodine), where relaxation depends primarily on Na+/Ca2+ exchange. After long rest intervals (≥120 s), control rats showed a significant rest potentiation of force and Ca2+ transients, whereas banded rats did not. In addition, RCC amplitudes increased with rest in control but were unaltered in banded rats. In summary, pressure-overload hypertrophy was associated with slower twitch relaxation and [Ca2+]i decline but also with blunted rest potentiation of twitches and SR Ca2+ content of LV trabeculae. The decrease in SR Ca2+-ATPase function in banded rats may contribute to the observed diastolic dysfunction associated with pressure-overload hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Force-frequency relationship
  • Iontophoretic injection
  • Postrest relationship
  • Rapid cooling contractures
  • Systemic hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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