Safety Pharmacology & Toxicology, Fairfield, CT 06825, USA; Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, 2176 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z3. Electronic address: [Email]
A series of amino-2-cyclohexyl ester derivatives were studied for their ion channel blocking and antiarrhythmic actions in the rat and a structure-activity analysis was conducted. The compounds are similar in chemical structure except for ionizable amine groups (pK values 6.1-8.9) and the positional arrangements of aromatic naphthyl moieties. Ventricular arrhythmias were produced in rats by coronary-artery occlusion or electrical stimulation. The electrophysiological effects of these compounds on rat heart sodium channels (Nav1.5) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and transient outward potassium currents (Kv4.3) from isolated rat ventricular myocytes were examined. The compounds reduced the incidence of ischemia-related arrhythmias and increased current threshold for induction of ventricular fibrillo-flutter (VFt) dose-dependently. As pK increased compounds showed a diminished effectiveness against ischemia-induced arrhythmias, and were less selective for ischemia- versus electrically-induced arrhythmias. Where tested, compounds produced a concentration-dependent tonic block of Nav1.5 channels. An increased potency for inhibition of Nav1.5 occurred when the external pH (pHo) was reduced to 6.5. Some compounds inhibited Kv4.3 in a pH-independent manner. Overall, the differences in antiarrhythmic and ion channel blocking properties in this series of compounds can be explained by differences in chemical structure. Antiarrhythmic activity for the amino-2-cyclohexyl ester derivatives is likely a function of mixed ion channel blockade in ischemic myocardium. These studies show that drug inhibition of Nav1.5 occurred at lower concentrations than Kv4.3 and was more sensitive to changes in the ionizable amine groups rather than on positional arrangements of the naphthyl constituents. These results offer insight into antiarrhythmic mechanisms of drug-ion channel interactions.