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BioMed Central

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BioMedical Engineering OnLine

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doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-5-16; PubMed Central: PMCID 1431537



The phase-space relationship between simultaneously measured myoplasmic [Ca2+] and isovolumetric left ventricular pressure (LVP) in guinea pig intact hearts is altered by ischemic and inotropic interventions. Our objective was to mathematically model this phase-space relationship between [Ca2+] and LVP with a focus on the changes in cross-bridge kinetics and myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity responsible for alterations in Ca2+-contraction coupling due to inotropic drugs in the presence and absence of ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury.


We used a four state computational model to predict LVP using experimentally measured, averaged myoplasmic [Ca2+] transients from unpaced, isolated guinea pig hearts as the model input. Values of model parameters were estimated by minimizing the error between experimentally measured LVP and model-predicted LVP.


We found that IR injury resulted in reduced myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity, and decreased cross-bridge association and dissociation rates. Dopamine (8 μM) reduced myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity before, but enhanced it after ischemia while improving cross-bridge kinetics before and after IR injury. Dobutamine (4 μM) reduced myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity while improving cross-bridge kinetics before and after ischemia. Digoxin (1 μM) increased myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity and cross-bridge kinetics after but not before ischemia. Levosimendan (1 μM) enhanced myofilament Ca2+ affinity and cross-bridge kinetics only after ischemia.


Estimated model parameters reveal mechanistic changes in Ca2+-contraction coupling due to IR injury, specifically the inefficient utilization of Ca2+ for contractile function with diastolic contracture (increase in resting diastolic LVP). The model parameters also reveal drug-induced improvements in Ca2+-contraction coupling before and after IR injury.


Published version. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, Vol. 5, No. 16 (March 2006). DOI. © 2006 BioMed Central.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.