Heart rate in physiological conditions is set by the sinoatrial node (SN), the primary cardiac pacing tissue. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is a major regulatory pathway in all normal cells, and its dysregulation is prominent in diabetes, cancer, and heart failure. Here, we show that inhibition of PI3K slows the pacing rate of the SN in situ and in vitro and reduces the early slope of diastolic depolarization. Furthermore, inhibition of PI3K causes a negative shift in the voltage dependence of activation of the pacemaker current, IF, while addition of its second messenger, phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate, induces a positive shift. These shifts in the activation of IF are independent of, and larger than, those induced by the autonomic nervous system. These results suggest that PI3K is an important regulator of heart rate, and perturbations in this signaling pathway may contribute to the development of arrhythmias.

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