Repolarizing potassium currents in working myocardium of Japanese quail: novel translational model for cardiac electrophysiology

Tatiana S. Filatova, Denis Abramochkin, Nadezhda S. Pavlova, Ksenia B. Pustovit, Olga P. Konovalova, Vladislav S. Kuzmin, Halina Dobrzynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Birds developed endothermy and four-chambered high-performance heart independently from mammals. Though avian embryos are extensively studied and widely used as various models for heart research, little is known about cardiac physiology of adult birds. Meanwhile, cardiac electrophysiology is in search for easily accessible and relevant model objects which resemble human myocardium in the pattern of repolarizing currents (I Kr , I Ks , I Kur and I to ). This study focuses on the configuration of electrical activity and electrophysiological phenotype of working myocardium in adult Japanese quails ( Coturnix japonica ). The resting membrane potential and action potential (AP) waveform in quail atrial myocardium were similar to that in working myocardium of rodents. Using whole-cell patch clamp and sharp glass microelectrodes, we demonstrated that the repolarization of quail atrial and ventricular myocardium is determined by voltage-dependent potassium currents I Kr , I Ks and I to – the later was previously considered as an exclusive evolutionary feature of mammals. The specific blockers of these currents, dofetilide (3 μmol l -1 ), HMR 1556 (30 μmol l -1 ) and 4-aminopyridine (3 mmol l -1 ), prolonged AP in both ventricular and atrial myocardial preparations. The expression of the corresponding channels responsible for these currents, in quail myocardium was investigated with quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting. In conclusion, the described pattern of repolarizing ionic currents and channels in quail myocardium makes this species a novel and suitable experimental model for translational cardiac research and reveals new information related to the evolution of cardiac electrophysiology in vertebrates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2021


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