Nifedipine inhibits movement of cardiac calcium channels through late, but not early, gating transitions

R. W. Hadley, W. J. Lederer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


L-type Ca2+ channels were studied in guinea pig ventricular myocytes by examining how photoinactivation of nifedipine affected the Ca2+ current (I(Ca)) and the Ca2+ channel gating current (Ig). 1(Ca), blocked by nifedipine, reappeared in qualitatively different phases (immediate and delayed) following photoinactivation of nifedipine. Immediate recovery was attributed to unblock of closed Ca2+ channels, while delayed recovery was attributed to unblock of inactivated channels. In contrast to the I(Ca) results, photoinactivation of nifedipine produced only delayed recovery of I(g). Analysis of these results suggests the following conclusions. First, the actions of inhibitory dihydropyridines can be attributed to binding to either the inactivated or the closed conformation, but only binding to the inactivated state is associated with reduction of I(g). Second, the action of inhibitory dihydropyridines on closed channels is to retard their movement through a final, voltage-independent transition to the open state. This effect seems to be the converse of a major action of stimulatory dihydropyridines and thus is the principal mechanistic difference between stimulatory and inhibitory dihydropyridines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1784-H1790
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 38-5
StatePublished - 1995


  • calcium channel blockers
  • dihydropyridines
  • gating current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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