The cardiotonic effects of levosimendan in guinea pig hearts are modulated by beta-adrenergic stimulation
General Physiology and Biophysics
The effects of the Ca2+-sensitiser levosimendan alone or in combination with beta-adrenergic stimulation on the contractile function were studied in various guinea pig cardiac preparations. Echocardiography in narcotised animals indicated that a maximal dose of levosimendan (50 microg x kg(-1)) increased the left ventricular posterior wall movement velocity during systoles and diastoles by 25 +/- 3% (mean +/- S.E.M.) and 17 +/- 2%, respectively. In Langendorff hearts, a saturating concentration
... ating concentration of levosimendan (0.3 micromol x l(-1) for 5 min) increased +dP/dt(max) and dP/dt(max) by 28 +/- 3% and 14 +/- 2%, respectively. Further, the Ca2+-sensitising potential of levosimendan in Triton-skinned cardiomyocytes (EC50: 5 +/- 3 nmol x l(-1)) was illustrated by a maximal increase in the isometric force production by 51 +/- 5% (at pCa 6.2). However, following stimulation by isoproterenol, when the level of troponin I phosphorylation was elevated, no significant additional increase in the contractile parameters could be demonstrated upon levosimendan administration. Moreover, the levosimendan-induced increase in force production in isolated skinned myocytes could be prevented by incubation with the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (100 U x ml(-1) for 40 min). These data indicate that thin filament-targeted Ca2+-sensitisation by levosimendan is modulated by phosphorylation of the contractile filaments, an effect that should be considered during combination therapy with levosimendan.