Elevated perfusate [Na+] increases contractile dysfunction during ischemia and reperfusion


Recent studies revealed that relatively small changes in perfusate sodium (Na+) composition significantly affect cardiac electrical conduction and stability in contraction arrested ex vivo Langendorff heart preparations before and during simulated ischemia. Additionally, Na+ modulates cardiomyocyte contractility via a sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) mediated pathway. It remains unknown, however, whether modest changes to Na+ that promote electrophysiologic stability similarly improve mechanical function during baseline and ischemia-reperfusion conditions. The purpose of this study was to quantify cardiac mechanical function during ischemia-reperfusion with perfusates containing 145 or 155 mM Na+ in Langendorff perfused isolated rat heart preparations. Relative to 145 mM Na+, perfusion with 155 mM Na+ decreased the amplitude of left-ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) at baseline and accelerated the onset of ischemic contracture. Inhibiting NCX with SEA0400 abolished LVDP depression caused by increasing Na+ at baseline and reduced the time to peak ischemic contracture. Ischemia-reperfusion decreased LVDP in all hearts with return of intrinsic activity, and reperfusion with 155 mM Na+ further depressed mechanical function. In summary, elevating Na+ by as little as 10 mM can significantly modulate mechanical function under baseline conditions, as well as during ischemia and reperfusion. Importantly, clinical use of Normal Saline, which contains 155 mM Na+, with cardiac ischemia may require further investigation.