Stretch-induced changes in arrhythmogenesis and excitability in experimentally based heart cell models

Tara L. Riemer, Eric A. Sobie, Leslie Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Mechanoelectric coupling in the heart is well documented and has been suggested as a cause of arrhythmia. One hypothesized mechanism for the stretch sensitivity of cardiac muscle is the presence of stretch-activated channels (SACs). This study uses modeling to explore the influence of SACs on cardiac resting potential, excitation threshold, and action potential in the context of arrhythmia. We added a putative SAC, modeled as a linear, time- independent conductance with reversal potential of -20 or -50 mV, to guinea pig and frog ventricular membrane models. Increased stretch conductance led to resting potential depolarization, a decreased excitation threshold, altered action potential duration, and, under certain conditions, early afterdepolarizations. We conclude that stretch increases cellular excitability, making the heart prone to ectopic activity. Regional effects of stretch on action potential duration can vary and are influenced by factors such as the SAC reversal potential, ionic conditions, and baseline currents, all of which may lead to an increased dispersion of refractoriness throughout the heart and therefore an increased risk of arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H431-H442
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 44-2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Cardiac myocytes
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Mathematical model
  • Mechanoelectric coupling
  • Stretch-activated channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Stretch-induced changes in arrhythmogenesis and excitability in experimentally based heart cell models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this