Comprehensive analyses of the inotropic compound omecamtiv mecarbil in rat and human cardiac preparations
Omecamtiv mecarbil (OM), a myosin activator, was reported to induce complex concentration- and species-dependent effects on contractile function and clinical studies indicated a low therapeutic index with diastolic dysfunction at concentrations above 1 µM. To further characterize effects of OM in a human context and under different preload conditions, we constructed a setup that allows isometric contractility analyses of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived engineered heart tissues (EHTs). The results were compared to effects of OM on the very same EHTs measured under auxotonic conditions. OM induced a sustained, concentration-dependent increase in time-to-peak under all conditions (maximally 2-3 fold). Peak force, in contrast, was increased by OM only in human, but not rat EHTs and only under isometric conditions, varied between hiPSC lines and showed a biphasic concentration-dependency with maximal effects at 1 µM. Relaxation time tended to fall under auxotonic and strongly increase under isometric conditions, again with biphasic concentration-dependency. Diastolic tension concentration-dependently increased under all conditions. The latter was reduced by an inhibitor of the mitochondrial sodium calcium exchanger (CGP-37157). OM induced increases in mitochondrial oxidation in isolated cardiomyocytes, indicating that OM, an inotrope that does not increase intracellular and mitochondrial Ca2+, can induce mismatch between an increase in ATP and ROS production and unstimulated mitochondrial redox capacity. Taken together, we developed a novel setup well suitable for isometric measurements of EHTs. The effects of OM on contractility and diastolic tension are complex with concentration-, time-, species- and loading-dependent differences. Effects on mitochondrial function require further studies.