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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Two new technologies are likely to revolutionize cardiac safety and drug development: in vitro experiments on human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and in silico human adult ventricular cardiomyocyte (hAdultV-CM) models. Their combination was recently proposed as a potential replacement for the present hERG-based QT study for pharmacological safety assessments. Here, we systematically compared in silico the effects of selective ionic current block on hiPSC-CM and hAdultV-CM action potentials (APs), to identify similarities/differences and to illustrate the potential of computational models as supportive tools for evaluating new in vitro technologies. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: In silico AP models of ventricular-like and atrial-like hiPSC-CMs and hAdultV-CM were used to simulate the main effects of four degrees of block of the main cardiac transmembrane currents. KEY RESULTS: Qualitatively, hiPSC-CM and hAdultV-CM APs showed similar responses to current block, consistent with results from experiments. However, quantitatively, hiPSC-CMs were more sensitive to block of (i) L-type Ca(2+) currents due to the overexpression of the Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger (leading to shorter APs) and (ii) the inward rectifier K(+) current due to reduced repolarization reserve (inducing diastolic potential depolarization and repolarization failure). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: In silico hiPSC-CMs and hAdultV-CMs exhibit a similar response to selective current blocks. However, overall hiPSC-CMs show greater sensitivity to block, which may facilitate in vitro identification of drug-induced effects. Extrapolation of drug effects from hiPSC-CM to hAdultV-CM and pro-arrhythmic risk assessment can be facilitated by in silico predictions using biophysically-based computational models.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





5147 - 5160


Action Potentials, Adult, Calcium Channel Blockers, Calcium Channels, L-Type, Computer Simulation, Humans, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Myocytes, Cardiac