The effects of load on transmural differences in contraction of isolated mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes

Anastasia Khokhlova, Gentaro Iribe, Leonid Katsnelson, Keiji Naruse, Olga Solovyova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical properties of cardiomyocytes from different transmural regions are heterogeneous in the left ventricular wall. The cardiomyocyte mechanical environment affects this heterogeneity because of mechano-electric feedback mechanisms. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the mechanical load (preload and afterload) on transmural differences in contraction of subendocardial (ENDO) and subepicardial (EPI) single cells isolated from the murine left ventricle. Various preloads imposed via axial stretch and afterloads (unloaded and heavy loaded conditions) were applied to the cells using carbon fiber techniques for single myocytes. To simulate experimentally obtained results and to predict mechanisms underlying the cellular response to change in load, our mathematical models of the ENDO and EPI cells were used. Our major findings are the following. Our results show that ENDO and EPI cardiomyocytes have different mechanical responses to changes in preload to the cells. Under auxotonic contractions at low preload (unstretched cells), time to peak contraction (T max ) and the time constant of [Ca 2 + ] i transient decay were significantly longer in ENDO cells than in EPI cells. An increase in preload (stretched cells) prolonged T max in both cell types; however, the prolongation was greater in EPI cells, resulting in a decrease in the transmural gradient in T max at high preload. Comparing unloaded and heavy loaded (isometric) contractions of the cells we found that transmural gradient in the time course of contraction is independent of the loading conditions. Our mathematical cell models were able to reproduce the experimental results on the distinct cellular responses to changes in the mechanical load when we accounted for an ENDO/EPI difference in the parameters of cooperativity of calcium activation of myofilaments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-287
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Calcium transient
  • Cellular mechanics
  • Load dependency
  • Mechano-calcium feedback
  • Ventricular transmural heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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