Lack of evidence of M-cells in porcine left ventricular myocardium

A. Rodríguez-Sinovas, Juan Cinca, Alfons Tapias, Lluís Armadans, Màrius Tresànchez, J. Soler-Soler

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze whether cells with long action potential duration, fast V(max), and spike-and-dome configuration (M-cells) are present in porcine left ventricular myocardium. Methods: Transmembrane action potentials (n = 505) of the left ventricle were recorded with conventional glass microelectrodes in an epicardial-endocardial direction at 2000 ms basic cycle length in 14 pigs. In 3 pigs, potentials were obtained at 1000, 2000, and 5000 ms cycle length before and after superfusion with quinidine HCl 1 μg/ml. In addition, transmembrane potentials (n = 52) were recorded in 4 dogs at 2000 ms cycle length to verify the ability of our protocol to detect M-cells. Results: In pigs, action potential duration at 90% repolarization was shorter (ANOVA, P < 0.001) and V(max) slower (P < 0.001) in the epicardium than in the other transmural sites, but there were no regional differences in resting membrane potential or in action potential amplitude. Potentials with particularly long phase 3 or with spike-and-dome configuration were not observed. All myocardial sites displayed rate dependence of action potential duration (P = 0.02) which was transmurally homogeneous and persisted after quinidine exposure. The drug did not induce afterdepolarizations. In dogs, potentials with spike-and-dome configuration, long duration, and fast V(max), like those described in M-cells, were detected in deep epicardial and midmyocardial areas. Conclusion: The porcine left ventricular myocardium shows transmural differences in action potential duration and V(max), but, unlike dogs, it lacks M-cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
JournalCardiovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1997


  • M-cells
  • dog, ventricle
  • membrane potential
  • pig, ventricle
  • quinidine


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