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Blockade of the Human Ether A-Go-Go-Related Gene (hERG) Potassium Channel by Fentanyl.

Tschirhart, Jared N; Li, Wentao; Guo, Jun; Zhang, Shetuan.
Mol Pharmacol; 95(4): 386-397, 2019 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30665971
The human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) encodes the pore-forming subunit of the rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium channel (IKr). Drug-mediated or medical condition-mediated disruption of hERG function is the primary cause of acquired long-QT syndrome, which predisposes affected individuals to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Fentanyl abuse poses a serious health concern, with abuse and death rates rising over recent years. As fentanyl has a propensity to cause sudden death, we investigated its effects on the hERG channel. The effects of norfentanyl, the main metabolite, and naloxone, an antidote used in fentanyl overdose, were also examined. Currents of hERG channels stably expressed in HEK293 cells were recorded using the whole-cell voltage-clamp method. When hERG tail currents were analyzed upon -50 mV repolarization after a 50 mV depolarization, fentanyl and naloxone blocked hERG current (IhERG) with IC50 values of 0.9 and 74.3 µM, respectively, whereas norfentanyl did not block. However, fentanyl-mediated block of IhERG was voltage dependent. When a voltage protocol that mimics a human ventricular action potential (AP) was used, fentanyl blocked IhERG with an IC50 of 0.3 µM. Furthermore, fentanyl (0.5 µM) prolonged AP duration and blocked IKr in ventricular myocytes isolated from neonatal rats. The concentrations of fentanyl used in this study were higher than seen with clinical use but overlap with postmortem overdose concentrations. Although mechanisms of fentanyl-related sudden death need further investigation, blockade of hERG channels may contribute to the death of individuals with high-concentration overdose or compromised cardiac repolarization.
Selo DaSilva