General physiology and biophysics

Effects of voltage sensitive dye di-4-ANEPPS on guinea pig and rabbit myocardium.

PMID 18436983


Voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) are used to record transient potential changes in various cardiac preparations. In our laboratory, action potentials have been recorded by optical probe using di-4-ANEPPS. In this study, the effects of two different ways of staining were compared in guinea pig and rabbit isolated hearts perfused according to Langendorff: staining either by coronary perfusion with low dye concentration or with concentrated dye as a bolus into the aorta. Staining with low dye concentration lead to its better persistence in the tissue. Electrogram and coronary flow were monitored continuously. During the staining and washout of the dye, prominent electrophysiological changes occurred such as a decrease in spontaneous heart rate, partial atrioventricular block and changes of ST-T segment, accompanied by a decrease in mean coronary flow. No production of hydroxyl radicals was found by HPLC which excluded significant ischemic damage of the myocardium. Good viability of the stained preparation was supported by unchanged electron microscopy. Since in rabbit hearts the VSD-induced arrhythmogenesis was less pronounced, we conclude that the rabbit myocardium is more resistant to the changes triggered by VSD application. It may be due to different properties of the membrane potassium channels in the cardiomyocytes of these two species.