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Lead poisoning: acute exposure of the heart to lead ions promotes changes in cardiac function and Cav1.2 ion channels.


ABSTRACT: Lead ions (Pb2+) possess characteristics similar to Ca2+. Because of this and its redox capabilities, lead causes different toxic effects. The neurotoxic effects have been well documented; however, the toxic effects on cardiac tissues remain allusive. We utilized isolated guinea pig hearts and measured the effects of Pb2+ on their contractility and excitability. Acute exposure to extracellular Pb2+ had a negative inotropic effect and increased diastolic tension. The speed of contraction and relaxation were affected, though the effects were more dramatic on the speed of contraction. Excitability was also altered. Heart beat frequency increased and later diminished after lead ion exposure. Pro-arrhytmic events, such as early after-depolarization and a reduction of the action potential plateau, were also observed. In isolated cardiomyocytes and tsA 201 cells, extracellular lead blocked currents through Cav1.2 channels, diminished their activation, and enhanced their fast inactivation, negatively affecting their gating currents. Thus, Pb2+ was cardiotoxic and reduced cardiac contractility, making the heart prone to arrhythmias. This was due, in part, to Pb2+ effects on the Cav1.2 channels; however, other channels, transporters or pathways may also be involved. Acute cardiotoxic effects were observed at Pb2+ concentrations achievable during acute lead poisoning. The results suggest how Cav1.2 gating can be affected by divalent cations, such as Pb2, and also suggest a more thorough evaluation of heart function in individuals affected by lead poisoning.

SUBMITTER: Ferreira de Mattos G 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5662044 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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