Opposite effects of cyclic GMP and cyclic AMP on Ca2+ current in single heart cells.

PMID 2429189


The slow inward Ca2+ current, ICa, is fundamental in the initiation of cardiac contraction and neurohormonal regulation of cardiac function. It is increased by beta-adrenergic agonists, which stimulate synthesis of cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cAMP-dependent phosphorylation. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine reduces ICa by an unknown mechanism. There is strong evidence that acetylcholine reduces ICa by decreasing adenylate cyclase activity, but cGMP has also been implicated as ACh stimulates cGMP accumulation and activates cGMP-dependent protein kinase. Application of cGMP decreases contractile force, decreases Ca flux, shortens the duration of action potentials and inhibits Ca-dependent action potentials. Other studies, however, have concluded that cGMP levels do not correlate with contractile force and that cGMP has no effect on ICa. We have therefore examined the effects of intracellular perfusion of cGMP on ICa using isolated, voltage-clamped cells from frog ventricle. We find that cGMP has negligible effects on basal ICa, but greatly decreases the ICa that had been elevated by beta-adrenergic agonists or by intracellular perfusion with cAMP. The decrease of ICa is mediated by cAMP hydrolysis via a cGMP-stimulated cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase.