Flecainide inhibits arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves by open state block of ryanodine receptor Ca2+ release channels and reduction of Ca2+ spark mass.
ABSTRACT: Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is linked to mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) or calsequestrin. We recently found that the drug flecainide inhibits RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT in mice and humans. Here we compared the effects of flecainide and tetracaine, a known RyR2 inhibitor ineffective in CPVT myocytes, on arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) waves and elementary sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release events, Ca(2+) sparks. In ventricular myocytes isolated from a CPVT mouse model, flecainide significantly reduced spark amplitude and spark width, resulting in a 40% reduction in spark mass. Surprisingly, flecainide significantly increased spark frequency. As a result, flecainide had no significant effect on spark-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak or SR Ca(2+) content. In contrast, tetracaine decreased spark frequency and spark-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak, resulting in a significantly increased SR Ca(2+) content. Measurements in permeabilized rat ventricular myocytes confirmed the different effects of flecainide and tetracaine on spark frequency and Ca(2+) waves. In lipid bilayers, flecainide inhibited RyR2 channels by open state block, whereas tetracaine primarily prolonged RyR2 closed times. The differential effects of flecainide and tetracaine on sparks and RyR2 gating can explain why flecainide, unlike tetracaine, does not change the balance of SR Ca(2+) fluxes. We suggest that the smaller spark mass contributes to flecainide's antiarrhythmic action by reducing the probability of saltatory wave propagation between adjacent Ca(2+) release units. Our results indicate that inhibition of the RyR2 open state provides a new therapeutic strategy to prevent diastolic Ca(2+) waves resulting in triggered arrhythmias, such as CPVT.
Project description:Flecainide blocks ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) channels in the open state, suppresses arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves and prevents catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) in mice and humans. We hypothesized that differences in RyR2 activity induced by CPVT mutations determines the potency of open-state RyR2 blockers like flecainide (FLEC) and R-propafenone (RPROP) against Ca2+ waves in cardiomyocytes. Using confocal microscopy, we studied Ca2+ sparks and waves in isolated saponin-permeabilized ventricular myocytes from two CPVT mouse models (Casq2-/-, RyR2-R4496C+/-), wild-type (c57bl/6, WT) mice, and WT rabbits (New Zealand white rabbits). Consistent with increased RyR2 activity, Ca2+ spark and wave frequencies were significantly higher in CPVT compared to WT mouse myocytes. We next obtained concentration-response curves of Ca2+ wave inhibition for FLEC, RPROP (another open-state RyR2 blocker), and tetracaine (TET) (a state-independent RyR2 blocker). Both FLEC and RPROP inhibited Ca2+ waves with significantly higher potency (lower IC50) and efficacy in CPVT compared to WT. In contrast, TET had similar potency in all groups studied. Increasing RyR2 activity of permeabilized WT myocytes by exposure to caffeine (150 µM) increased the potency of FLEC and RPROP but not of TET. RPROP and FLEC were also significantly more potent in rabbit ventricular myocytes that intrinsically exhibit higher Ca2+ spark rates than WT mouse ventricular myocytes. In conclusion, RyR2 activity determines the potency of open-state blockers FLEC and RPROP for suppressing arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves in cardiomyocytes, a mechanism likely relevant to antiarrhythmic drug efficacy in CPVT.
Project description:RATIONALE:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is a potentially lethal arrhythmic disorder caused by mutations in the type-2 ryanodine receptor (RyR2). Mutant RyR2 cause abnormal Ca2+ leak from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), which is associated with the development of arrhythmias. OBJECTIVE:To determine whether derivatives of tetracaine, a local anesthetic drug with known RyR2 inhibiting action, could prevent CPVT induction by suppression of RyR2-mediated SR Ca2+ leak. METHODS AND RESULTS:Confocal microscopy was used to assess the effects of tetracaine and 9 derivatives (EL1-EL9) on spontaneous Ca2+ sparks in ventricular myocytes isolated from RyR2-R176Q/+ mice with CPVT. Whereas each derivative suppressed the Ca2+ spark frequency, derivative EL9 was most effective at the screening dose of 500nmol/L. At this high dose, the Ca2+ transient amplitude was not affected in myocytes from WT or R176Q/+ mice. The IC50 of EL9 was determined to be 13nmol/L, which is about 400× time lower than known RyR2 stabilizer K201. EL9 prevented the induction of ventricular tachycardia observed in placebo-treated R176Q/+ mice, without affecting heart rate or cardiac contractility. CONCLUSIONS:Tetracaine derivatives represent a novel class of RyR2 stabilizing drugs that could be used for the treatment of the potentially fatal disorder catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.
Project description:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is caused by mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) or calsequestrin (Casq2) and can be difficult to treat. The class Ic antiarrhythmic drug flecainide blocks RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT in mice and humans. It is not known whether other class I antiarrhythmic drugs also block RyR2 channels and to what extent RyR2 channel inhibition contributes to antiarrhythmic efficacy in CPVT.We first measured the effect of all class I antiarrhythmic drugs marketed in the United States (quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide, lidocaine, mexiletine, flecainide, and propafenone) on single RyR2 channels incorporated into lipid bilayers. Only flecainide and propafenone inhibited RyR2 channels, with the S-enantiomer of propafenone having a significantly lower potency than R-propafenone or flecainide. In Casq2(-/-) myocytes, the propafenone enantiomers and flecainide significantly reduced arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) waves at clinically relevant concentrations, whereas Na(+) channel inhibitors without RyR2 blocking properties did not. In Casq2(-/-) mice, 5 mg/kg R-propafenone or 20 mg/kg S-propafenone prevented exercise-induced CPVT, whereas procainamide (20 mg/kg) or lidocaine (20 mg/kg) were ineffective (n=5 to 9 mice, P<0.05). QRS duration was not significantly different, indicating a similar degree of Na(+) channel inhibition. Clinically, propafenone (900 mg/d) prevented ICD shocks in a 22-year-old CPVT patient who had been refractory to maximal standard drug therapy and bilateral stellate ganglionectomy.RyR2 cardiac Ca(2+) release channel inhibition appears to determine efficacy of class I drugs for the prevention of CPVT in Casq2(-/-) mice. Propafenone may be an alternative to flecainide for CPVT patients symptomatic on ?-blockers.
Project description:Ca(2+) waves can trigger ventricular arrhythmias such as catecholaminergic-polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). Drugs that prevent Ca(2+) waves may have antiarrhythmic properties. Here, we use permeabilized ventricular myocytes from a CPVT mouse model lacking calsequestrin (casq2) to screen all clinically available class I antiarrhythmic drugs and selected other antiarrhythmic agents for activity against Ca(2+) waves. Casq2-/- myocytes were imaged in line-scan mode and the following Ca(2+) wave parameters analyzed: wave incidence, amplitude, frequency, and propagation speed. IC(50) (potency) and maximum inhibition (efficacy) were calculated for each drug. Drugs fell into 3 distinct categories. Category 1 drugs (flecainide and R-propafenone) suppressed wave parameters with the highest potency (IC(50)<10 ?M) and efficacy (>50% maximum wave inhibition). Category 2 drugs (encainide, quinidine, lidocaine, and verapamil) had intermediate potency (IC(50) 20-40 ?M) and efficacy (20-40% maximum wave inhibition). Category 3 drugs (procainamide, disopyramide, mexiletine, cibenzoline, and ranolazine) had no significant effects on Ca(2+) waves at the highest concentration tested (100 ?M). Propafenone was stereoselective, with R-propafenone suppressing waves more potently than S-propafenone (IC(50): R-propafenone 2 ± 0.2 ?M vs. S-propafenone 54 ± 18 ?M). Both flecainide and R-propafenone decreased Ca(2+) spark mass and converted propagated Ca(2+) waves into non-propagated wavelets and frequent sparks, suggesting that reduction in spark mass, not spark frequency, was responsible for wave suppression. Among all class I antiarrhythmic drugs, flecainide and R-propafenone inhibit Ca(2+) waves with the highest potency and efficacy. Permeabilized casq2-/- myocytes are a simple in-vitro assay for finding drugs with activity against Ca(2+) waves. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Possible Editorial'.
Project description:Ca(2+) waves are thought to be important in the aetiology of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. There have been conflicting results regarding whether flecainide reduces Ca(2+) waves in isolated cardiomyocytes. We sought to confirm whether flecainide inhibits waves in the intact cardiomyocyte and to elucidate the mechanism.We imaged spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release events in healthy adult rat cardiomyocytes. Variation in stimulation frequency was used to produce Ca(2+) sparks or waves. Spark frequency, wave frequency, and wave velocity were reduced by flecainide in the absence of a reduction of SR Ca(2+) content. Inhibition of I(Na) via alternative pharmacological agents (tetrodotoxin, propafenone, or lidocaine) produced similar changes. To assess the contribution of I(Na) to spark and wave production, voltage clamping was used to activate contraction from holding potentials of -80 or -40 mV. This confirmed that reducing Na(+) influx during myocyte stimulation is sufficient to reduce waves and that flecainide only causes Ca(2+) wave reduction when I(Na) is active. It was found that Na(+)/Ca(2+)-exchanger (NCX)-mediated Ca(2+) efflux was significantly enhanced by flecainide and that the effects of flecainide on wave frequency could be reversed by reducing [Na(+)](o), suggesting an important downstream role for NCX function.Flecainide reduces spark and wave frequency in the intact rat cardiomyocyte at therapeutically relevant concentrations but the mechanism involves I(Na) reduction rather than direct ryanodine receptor (RyR2) inhibition. Reduced I(Na) results in increased Ca(2+) efflux via NCX across the sarcolemma, reducing Ca(2+) concentration in the vicinity of the RyR2.
Project description:The Purkinje fiber network has been proposed as the source of arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) release events in catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), yet evidence supporting this mechanism at the cellular level is lacking.We sought to determine the frequency and severity of spontaneous Ca(2+) release events and the response to the antiarrhythmic agent flecainide in Purkinje cells and ventricular myocytes from RyR2(R4496C/+) CPVT mutant mice and littermate controls.We crossed RyR2(R4496C/+) knock-in mice with the newly described Cntn2-EGFP BAC transgenic mice, which express a fluorescent reporter gene in cells of the cardiac conduction system, including the distal Purkinje fiber network. Isolated ventricular myocytes (EGFP(-)) and Purkinje cells (EGFP(+)) from wild-type hearts and mutant hearts were distinguished by epifluorescence and intracellular Ca(2+) dynamics recorded by microfluorimetry. Both wild-type and RyR2(R4496C/+) mutant Purkinje cells displayed significantly slower kinetics of activation and relaxation compared to ventricular myocytes of the same genotype, and tau(decay) in the mutant Purkinje cells was significantly slower than that observed in wild-type Purkinje cells. Of the 4 groups studied, RyR2(R4496C/+) mutant Purkinje cells were also most likely to develop spontaneous Ca(2+) release events, and the number of events per cell was also significantly greater. Furthermore, with isoproterenol treatment, although all 4 groups showed increases in the frequency of arrhythmogenic Ca(2+(i)) events, the RyR2(R4496C/+) Purkinje cells responded with the most profound abnormalities in intracellular Ca(2+) handling, including a significant increase in the frequency of unstimulated Ca(2+(i)) events and the development of alternans, as well as isolated and sustained runs of triggered beats. Both Purkinje cells and ventricular myocytes from wild-type mice showed suppression of spontaneous Ca(2+) release events with flecainide, whereas in RyR2(R4496C/+) mice, the Purkinje cells were preferentially responsive to drug. In contrast, the RyR2 blocker tetracaine was equally efficacious in mutant Purkinje cells and ventricular myocytes.Purkinje cells display a greater propensity to develop abnormalities in intracellular Ca(2+) handling than ventricular myocytes. This proarrhythmic behavior is enhanced by disease-causing mutations in the RyR2 Ca(2+) release channel and greatly exacerbated by catecholaminergic stimulation, with the development of arrhythmogenic triggered beats. These data support the concept that Purkinje cells are critical contributors to arrhythmic triggers in animal models and humans with CPVT and suggest a broader role for the Purkinje fiber network in the genesis of ventricular arrhythmias.
Project description:Coordinated release of calcium (Ca(2+) ) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) through cardiac ryanodine receptor (RYR2) channels is essential for cardiomyocyte function. In catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), an inherited disease characterized by stress-induced ventricular arrhythmias in young patients with structurally normal hearts, autosomal dominant mutations in RYR2 or recessive mutations in calsequestrin lead to aberrant diastolic Ca(2+) release from the SR causing arrhythmogenic delayed after depolarizations (DADs). Here, we report the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a CPVT patient carrying a novel RYR2 S406L mutation. In patient iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, catecholaminergic stress led to elevated diastolic Ca(2+) concentrations, a reduced SR Ca(2+) content and an increased susceptibility to DADs and arrhythmia as compared to control myocytes. This was due to increased frequency and duration of elementary Ca(2+) release events (Ca(2+) sparks). Dantrolene, a drug effective on malignant hyperthermia, restored normal Ca(2+) spark properties and rescued the arrhythmogenic phenotype. This suggests defective inter-domain interactions within the RYR2 channel as the pathomechanism of the S406L mutation. Our work provides a new in vitro model to study the pathogenesis of human cardiac arrhythmias and develop novel therapies for CPVT.
Project description:Calmodulin (CaM) mutations are associated with an autosomal dominant syndrome of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden death that can present with divergent clinical features of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) or long QT syndrome (LQTS). CaM binds to and inhibits ryanodine receptor (RyR2) Ca release channels in the heart, but whether arrhythmogenic CaM mutants alter RyR2 function is not known.To gain mechanistic insight into how human CaM mutations affect RyR2 Ca channels.We studied recombinant CaM mutants associated with CPVT (N54I and N98S) or LQTS (D96V, D130G, and F142L). As a group, all LQTS-associated CaM mutants (LQTS-CaMs) exhibited reduced Ca affinity, whereas CPVT-associated CaM mutants (CPVT-CaMs) had either normal or modestly lower Ca affinity. In permeabilized ventricular myocytes, CPVT-CaMs at a physiological intracellular concentration (100 nmol/L) promoted significantly higher spontaneous Ca wave and spark activity, a typical cellular phenotype of CPVT. Compared with wild-type CaM, CPVT-CaMs caused greater RyR2 single-channel open probability and showed enhanced binding affinity to RyR2. Even a 1:8 mixture of CPVT-CaM:wild-type-CaM activated Ca waves, demonstrating functional dominance. In contrast, LQTS-CaMs did not promote Ca waves and exhibited either normal regulation of RyR2 single channels (D96V) or lower RyR2-binding affinity (D130G and F142L). None of the CaM mutants altered Ca/CaM binding to CaM-kinase II.A small proportion of CPVT-CaM is sufficient to evoke arrhythmogenic Ca disturbances, whereas LQTS-CaMs do not. Our findings explain the clinical presentation and autosomal dominant inheritance of CPVT-CaM mutations and suggest that RyR2 interactions are unlikely to explain arrhythmogenicity of LQTS-CaM mutations.
Project description:Calcium-induced calcium release is the principal mechanism that triggers the cell-wide [Ca(2+)]i transient that activates muscle contraction during cardiac excitation-contraction coupling (ECC). Here, we characterize this process in mouse cardiac myocytes with a novel mathematical action potential (AP) model that incorporates realistic stochastic gating of voltage-dependent L-type calcium (Ca(2+)) channels (LCCs) and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release channels (the ryanodine receptors, RyR2s). Depolarization of the sarcolemma during an AP stochastically activates the LCCs elevating subspace [Ca(2+)] within each of the cell's 20,000 independent calcium release units (CRUs) to trigger local RyR2 opening and initiate Ca(2+) sparks, the fundamental unit of triggered Ca(2+) release. Synchronization of Ca(2+) sparks during systole depends on the nearly uniform cellular activation of LCCs and the likelihood of local LCC openings triggering local Ca(2+) sparks (ECC fidelity). The detailed design and true SR Ca(2+) pump/leak balance displayed by our model permits investigation of ECC fidelity and Ca(2+) spark fidelity, the balance between visible (Ca(2+) spark) and invisible (Ca(2+) quark/sub-spark) SR Ca(2+) release events. Excess SR Ca(2+) leak is examined as a disease mechanism in the context of "catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)", a Ca(2+)-dependent arrhythmia. We find that that RyR2s (and therefore Ca(2+) sparks) are relatively insensitive to LCC openings across a wide range of membrane potentials; and that key differences exist between Ca(2+) sparks evoked during quiescence, diastole, and systole. The enhanced RyR2 [Ca(2+)]i sensitivity during CPVT leads to increased Ca(2+) spark fidelity resulting in asynchronous systolic Ca(2+) spark activity. It also produces increased diastolic SR Ca(2+) leak with some prolonged Ca(2+) sparks that at times become "metastable" and fail to efficiently terminate. There is a huge margin of safety for stable Ca(2+) handling within the cell and this novel mechanistic model provides insight into the molecular signaling characteristics that help maintain overall Ca(2+) stability even under the conditions of high SR Ca(2+) leak during CPVT. Finally, this model should provide tools for investigators to examine normal and pathological Ca(2+) signaling characteristics in the heart.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is an arrhythmogenic disorder caused by mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor RyR2 that increase diastolic calcium cation (Ca2+) leak from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Calmodulin (CaM) dissociation from RyR2 has been associated with diastolic Ca2+ leak in heart failure. OBJECTIVE:Determine whether the tetracaine-derivative compound EL20 inhibits abnormal Ca2+ release from RyR2 in a CPVT model and investigate the underlying mechanism of inhibition. METHODS:Spontaneous Ca2+ sparks in cardiomyocytes and inducible ventricular tachycardia were assessed in a CPVT mouse model, which is heterozygous for the R176Q mutation in RyR2 (R176Q/+ mice) in the presence of EL20 or vehicle. Single-channel studies using sheep cardiac SR or purified RyR2 reconstituted into proteoliposomes with and without exogenous CaM were used to assess mechanisms of inhibition. RESULTS:EL20 potently inhibits abnormal Ca2+ release in R176Q/+ myocytes (half-maximal inhibitory concentration = 35.4 nM) and diminishes arrhythmia in R176Q/+ mice. EL20 inhibition of single-channel activity of purified RyR2 occurs in a similar range as seen in R176Q/+ myocytes (half-maximal inhibitory concentration = 8.2 nM). Inhibition of single-channel activity for cardiac SR or purified RyR2 supplemented with 100-nM or 1-?M CaM shows a 200- to 1000-fold reduction in potency. CONCLUSION:This work provides a potential therapeutic mechanism for the development of antiarrhythmic compounds that inhibit leaky RyR2 resulting from CaM dissociation, which is often associated with failing hearts. Our data also suggest that CaM dissociation may contribute to the pathogenesis of arrhythmias with the CPVT-linked R176Q mutation.