CO, Pb++ and SO2 effects on L-type calcium channel and action potential in human atrial myocytes. In silico study

Diana C. Pachajoa, Catalina Tobón, Juan P. Ugarte, Javier Saiz


Exposure to air pollutants like carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb++) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) promotes the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Experimental studies have shown that CO, Pb++ and SO2 block L-type calcium channels, reducing the calcium current (ICaL) and the action potential duration (APD), which favors the initiation of atrial arrhythmias. The goal is to study the effects of CO, Pb++ and SO2 at different concentrations on ICaL and action potential using computational simulation. For this purpose, models of the effects of the air pollutants on the atrial L-type calcium channel were developed and were incorporated into a mathematical model of a human atrial cell. The results suggest that CO, Pb++ and SO2 block the ICaL current in a fraction that increases along with the concentration, generating an APD shortening. These results are consistent with experimental studies. The combined effect of the three air pollutants produced an APD shortening, which is considered to be a pro-arrhythmic effect.


Air pollution; atrial action potential; calcium channel; in silico models.

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