Acetylcholine Reduces IKr and Prolongs Action Potentials in Human Ventricular Cardiomyocytes

István Koncz, Arie O. Verkerk, Michele Nicastro, Ronald Wilders, Tamás Árpádffy-Lovas, Tibor Magyar, Noémi Tóth, Norbert Nagy, Micah Madrid, Zexu Lin, Igor R. Efimov

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) has a meaningful basis as a potentially effective treatment for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. There is an ongoing VNS randomized study, and four studies are completed. However, relatively little is known about the effect of acetylcholine (ACh) on repolarization in human ventricular cardiomyocytes, as well as the effect of ACh on the rapid component of the delayed rectifier K+ current (IKr). Here, we investigated the effect of ACh on the action potential parameters in human ventricular preparations and on IKr in human induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). Using standard microelectrode technique, we demonstrated that ACh (5 µM) significantly increased the action potential duration in human left ventricular myocardial slices. ACh (5 µM) also prolonged repolarization in a human Purkinje fiber and a papillary muscle. Optical mapping revealed that ACh increased the action potential duration in human left ventricular myocardial slices and that the effect was dose-dependent. Perforated patch clamp experiments demonstrated action potential prolongation and a significant decrease in IKr by ACh (5 µM) in hiPSC-CMs. Computer simulations of the electrical activity of a human ventricular cardiomyocyte showed an increase in action potential duration upon implementation of the experimentally observed ACh-induced changes in the fully activated conductance and steady-state activation of IKr. Our findings support the hypothesis that ACh can influence the repolarization in human ventricular cardiomyocytes by at least changes in IKr.
Original languageEnglish
Article number244
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Acetylcholine
  • Action potential duration
  • Delayed rectifier K current (I)
  • Human induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs)
  • Repolarization

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