Rate-dependent effects of lidocaine on cardiac dynamics: Development and analysis of a low-dimensional drug-channel interaction model

Steffen S. Docken, Colleen E. Clancy, Timothy J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


State-dependent sodium channel blockers are often prescribed to treat cardiac arrhythmias, but many sodium channel blockers are known to have pro-Arrhythmic side effects. While the anti and proarrhythmic potential of a sodium channel blocker is thought to depend on the characteristics of its rate-dependent block, the mechanisms linking these two attributes are unclear. Furthermore, how specific properties of rate-dependent block arise from the binding kinetics of a particular drug is poorly understood. Here, we examine the rate-dependent effects of the sodium channel blocker lidocaine by constructing and analyzing a novel drugchannel interaction model. First, we identify the predominant mode of lidocaine binding in a 24 variable Markov model for lidocaine-sodium channel interaction by Moreno et al. Specifically, we find that (1) the vast majority of lidocaine bound to sodium channels is in the neutral form, i.e., the binding of charged lidocaine to sodium channels is negligible, and (2) neutral lidocaine binds almost exclusively to inactivated channels and, upon binding, immobilizes channels in the inactivated state. We then develop a novel 3-variable lidocaine-sodium channel interaction model that incorporates only the predominant mode of drug binding. Our low-dimensional model replicates an extensive amount of the voltage-clamp data used to parameterize the Moreno et al. model. Furthermore, the effects of lidocaine on action potential upstroke velocity and conduction velocity in our model are similar to those predicted by the Moreno et al. model. By exploiting the low-dimensionality of our model, we derive an algebraic expression for level of rate-dependent block as a function of pacing frequency, restitution properties, diastolic and plateau potentials, and drug binding rate constants. Our model predicts that the level of rate-dependent block is sensitive to alterations in restitution properties and increases in diastolic potential, but it is insensitive to variations in the shape of the action potential waveform and lidocaine binding rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009145
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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