Mechanisms of δ-hexachlorocyclohexane toxicity: I. Relationship between altered ventricular myocyte contractility and ryanodine receptor function

Edmond D. Buck, Wilhelm G. Lachnit, Isaac N Pessah

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Several isomers of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) have been shown to be toxic to mammals. Previous studies have revealed that the δ isomer (δ-HCH) was particularly potent toward disrupting Ca2+ homeostasis in a variety of excitable and nonexcitable cells and altering contractility of cardiac muscle. The effects of the δ and γ isomers of HCH were further investigated on isolated ventricular myocytes from guinea pig and on single cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) Ca2+-release channels from cardiac SR vesicles. Intracellular Ca2+ transients were examined in electrically stimulated cells using the fluorescent dye indo-1, and twitch contractions of myocytes were analyzed using a video-based edge motion detection system. Exposure of myocytes to δ- but not γ-HCH depressed the peak of intracellular Ca2+ transients and prolonged recovery time. These effects were correlated with the ability of δ-HCH to inhibit the binding of [3H]ryanodine, a conformationally sensitive probe for RyR2 function, to SR preparations (IC50 = 2 and 18 μM for high- and low-affinity interactions, respectively). Measurements of single-channel gating kinetics under voltage- clamp provided direct evidence of a potent isoform-selective activation of RyR2 by δ-HCH. Results from these studies revealed that δ-HCH alters Ca2+ homeostasis and contractility in cardiac myocytes and that the mechanism can be ascribed, at least in part, to a direct interaction with the RyR2 channel complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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