For patients in which the Ca2+ concentration of dialysis fluid is lower than that in plasma, chronic hemodialysis treatment often leads to cardiac beating dysfunction. By applying these conditions to an electrophysiological mathematical model, we evaluated the impact of body fluid Ca2+ dynamics during treatment on cardiomyocyte beating and, moreover, explored measures that may prevent cardiomyocyte beating dysfunction. First, Ca2+ concentrations in both plasma and interstitial fluid were decreased with treatment time, which induced both a slight decline in beating rhythm on a sinoatrial nodal cell and a wane in contraction force on a ventricular cell. These simulated results were in agreement with clinical observations. Next, a relationship between the intracellular Ca2+ concentration and ion current dynamics of ion transporters were examined to elucidate the mechanism underlying cardiomyocyte beating dysfunction. The inward current of the Na/Ca exchanger (NCX) increased with a decrease in Ca2+ concentration in interstitial fluid and induced a reduction in intracellular Ca2+ concentration during treatment. Furthermore, the decline in intracellular Ca2+ concentration reduced the contraction force. These findings implied that ion transport through the NCX is a dominant factor that induces cardiomyocyte beating dysfunction during hemodialysis. Finally, the replenishment of Ca2+ or application of an NCX inhibitor during treatment suppressed the decrease in intracellular Ca2+ concentration and contributed to the stabilization of cardiomyocyte beating function. In summary, the clinical implementation of hepatically cleared NCX inhibitor may be a suitable approach to improving the quality of life for patients on chronic hemodialysis.
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