Pro-arrhythmogenic effects of CACNA1C G1911R mutation in human ventricular tachycardia: insights from cardiac multi-scale models.
ABSTRACT: Mutations in the CACNA1C gene are associated with ventricular tachycardia (VT). Although the CACNA1C mutations were well identified in patients with cardiac arrhythmias, mechanisms by which cardiac arrhythmias are generated in such genetic mutation conditions remain unclear. In this study, we identified a novel mechanism of VT resulted from enhanced repolarization dispersion which is a key factor for arrhythmias in the CACNA1C G1911R mutation using multi-scale computational models of the human ventricle. The increased calcium influx in the mutation prolonged action potential duration (APD), produced steepened action potential duration restitution (APDR) curves as well as augmented membrane potential differences among different cell types during repolarization, increasing transmural dispersion of repolarization (DOR) and the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of cardiac electrical activities. Consequentially, the vulnerability to unidirectional conduction block in response to a premature stimulus increased at tissue level in the G1911R mutation. The increased functional repolarization dispersion anchored reentrant excitation waves in tissue and organ models, facilitating the initiation and maintenance of VT due to less meandering rotor tip. Thus, the increased repolarization dispersion caused by the G1911R mutation is a primary factor that may primarily contribute to the genesis of cardiac arrhythmias in Timothy Syndrome.
Project description:Functional analysis of the L-type calcium channel has shown that the CACNA1C R858H mutation associated with severe QT interval prolongation may lead to ventricular fibrillation (VF). This study investigated multiple potential mechanisms by which the CACNA1C R858H mutation facilitates and perpetuates VF. The Ten Tusscher-Panfilov (TP06) human ventricular cell models incorporating the experimental data on the kinetic properties of L-type calcium channels were integrated into one-dimensional (1D) fiber, 2D sheet, and 3D ventricular models to investigate the pro-arrhythmic effects of CACNA1C mutations by quantifying changes in intracellular calcium handling, action potential profiles, action potential duration restitution (APDR) curves, dispersion of repolarization (DOR), QT interval and spiral wave dynamics. R858H "mutant" L-type calcium current (ICaL ) augmented sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium content, leading to the development of afterdepolarizations at the single cell level and focal activities at the tissue level. It also produced inhomogeneous APD prolongation, causing QT prolongation and repolarization dispersion amplification, rendering R858H "mutant" tissue more vulnerable to the induction of reentry compared with other conditions. In conclusion, altered ICaL due to the CACNA1C R858H mutation increases arrhythmia risk due to afterdepolarizations and increased tissue vulnerability to unidirectional conduction block. However, the observed reentry is not due to afterdepolarizations (not present in our model), but rather to a novel blocking mechanism.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The restitution of the action potential duration (APDR) and conduction velocity (CVR) are mechanisms whereby cardiac excitation and repolarization adapt to changes in heart rate. They modulate the vulnerability to dangerous arrhythmia, but the mechanistic link between restitution and arrhythmogenesis remains only partially understood.<h4>Methods</h4>This paper provides an experimental and theoretical study of repolarization and excitation restitution properties and their interactions in the intact human epicardium. The interdependence between excitation and repolarization dynamic is studied in 8 patients (14 restitution protocols, 1722 restitution curves) undergoing global epicardial mapping with multi-electrode socks before open heart surgery. A mathematical description of the contribution of both repolarization and conduction dynamics to the steepness of the APDR slope is proposed.<h4>Results</h4>This study demonstrates that the APDR slope is a function of both activation and repolarization dynamics. At short cycle length, conduction delay significantly increases the APDR slope by interacting with the diastolic interval. As predicted by the proposed mathematical formulation, the APDR slope was more sensitive to activation time prolongation than to the simultaneous shortening of repolarization time. A steep APDR slope was frequently identified, with 61% of all cardiac sites exhibiting an APDR slope > 1, suggesting that a slope > 1 may not necessarily promote electrical instability in the human epicardium. APDR slope did not change for different activation or repolarization times, and it was not a function of local baseline APD. However, it was affected by the spatial organization of electrical excitation, suggesting that in tissue APDR is not a unique function of local electrophysiological properties. Spatial heterogeneity in both activation and repolarization restitution contributed to the increase in the modulated dispersion of repolarization, which for short cycle length was as high as 250 ms. Heterogeneity in conduction velocity restitution can translate into both activation and repolarization dispersion and increase cardiac instability. The proposed mathematical formulation shows an excellent agreement with the experimental data (correlation coefficient r = 0.94) and provides a useful tool for the understanding of the complex interactions between activation and repolarization restitution properties as well as between their measurements.
Project description:Early repolarization syndrome (ERS) may be a near-Mendelian or an oligogenic disease; however, no direct evidence has been provided to support this theory.We described a large Chinese family with nocturnal sudden cardiac death induced by ERS in most of the young male adults. One missense mutation (p.Q1916R) was found in the major subunit of the L-type calcium channel gene CACNA1C by the direct sequencing of candidate genes. A concomitant gain-of-function variant in the sodium channel gene SCN5A (p.R1193Q) was found to rescue the phenotype of the female CACNA1C-Q1916R mutation carriers, which led to the incomplete penetrance. The functional studies, via the exogenous expression approach, revealed that the CACNA1C-Q1916R mutation led to a decreasing L-type calcium current and the protein expression defect. The decreased calcium current produced by the mutant channel was improved by isoproterenol but exacerbated by testosterone. The effects of CACNA1C-Q1916R mutation and testosterone on cellular electrophysiology were further confirmed by the human ventricular action potential simulation.Our results demonstrated that the loss-of-function CACNA1C-Q1916R mutation contributed to ERS-related sudden cardiac death, and the phenotypic incomplete penetrance was modified by the SCN5A-R1193Q variant and sex. These findings suggest that phenotypes of ERS are modified by multiple genetic factors, which supports the theory that ERS may be an oligogenic disease.
Project description:Mutations in CACNA1C that increase current through the CaV1.2 L-type Ca2+ channel underlie rare forms of long QT syndrome (LQTS), and Timothy syndrome (TS). We identified a variant in CACNA1C in a male child of Filipino descent with arrhythmias and extracardiac features by candidate gene sequencing and performed functional expression studies to electrophysiologically characterize the effects of the variant on CaV1.2 channels. As a baby, the subject developed seizures and displayed developmental delays at 30 months of age. At age 5 years, he displayed a QTc of 520 ms and experienced recurrent VT. Physical exam at 17 years of age was notable for microcephaly, short stature, lower extremity weakness and atrophy with hyperreflexia, spastic diplegia, multiple dental caries and episodes of rhabdomyolysis. Candidate gene sequencing identified a G>C transversion at position 5731 of CACNA1C (rs374528680) predicting a glycine>arginine substitution at residue 1911 (p.G1911R) of CaV1.2. The allele frequency of this variant is 0.01 in Malays, but absent in 984 Caucasian alleles and in the 1000 genomes project. In electrophysiological analyses, the variant decreased voltage-dependent inactivation, thus causing a gain of function of CaV1.2. We also observed a negative shift of V1/2 of activation and positive shift of V1/2 of channel inactivation, resulting in an increase of the window current. Together, these suggest a gain-of-function effect on CaV1.2 and suggest increased susceptibility for arrhythmias in certain clinical settings. The p.G1911R variant was also identified in a case of sudden unexplained infant death (SUID), for which an increasing number of clinical observations have demonstrated can be associated with arrhythmogenic mutations in cardiac ion channels. In summary, the combined effects of the CACNA1C variant to diminish voltage-dependent inactivation of CaV1.2 and increase window current expand our appreciation of mechanisms by which a gain of function of CaV1.2 can contribute to QT prolongation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients with early repolarization (ER) pattern are at higher risk of ventricular arrhythmia, yet the genetic background of this situation has not been well investigated. Here we report novel trigenic mutations detected in a Chinese family of obstructive HCM with ER and short QT syndrome (SQTS). METHODS:Proband and family members underwent detailed medical assessments. DNAs were extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes for genetic screening with next generation method. The functional characterization of the mutation was conducted in TSA201 cells with patch-clamp experiment. RESULTS:The proband was a 52-year-old male who had a ER pattern ECG in inferioral-lateral leads with atrioventricular block and QTc of 356 ms. He also suffered from severe left ventricular hypertrophy and dysfunction. Targeted sequencing revealed trigenic mutations: c.700G>A/p.E234K in DES, c.2966G>A/p.R989H in MYPN, and c.5918G>C/p.R1973P in CACNA1C. All mutations were also detected in his daughter with ER and mild myocardium hypertrophy. The CACNA1C-R1973P mutation caused significant reduction (68.4%) of ICa compared to CACNA1C-WT (n = 14 and 14, P < 0.05). The computer modeling showed that all 3 mutations were highly disease-causing. The proband received the CRT-D (cardiac resynchronizing therapy) implantation, which lowered the left ventricular outflow tract gradient (LVOTG, 124 mmHg pre vs. 27 mmHg post) and restored the LV function (LVEF 40% pre vs. 63% post). CONCLUSIONS:The study reveals a novel CACNA1C mutation underlying the unique ER pattern ECGs with SQTS. It also shows the rare trigenic mutations are the pathogenic substrates for the complicated clinical manifestation in HCM patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) increases the risk of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) when the left ventricular (LV) epicardial lead is implanted in proximity to scar. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanisms underpinning this risk by investigating the effects of pacing on local electrophysiology (EP) in relation to scar that provides a substrate for VT in ICM patients undergoing CRT. METHODS:Imaging data from ICM patients (n = 24) undergoing CRT were used to create patient-specific LV anatomic computational models including scar morphology. Simulations of LV epicardial pacing at 0.2-4.5 cm from the scar were performed using EP models of chronic infarct and heart failure (HF). Dispersion of repolarization and the vulnerable window were computed as surrogates for VT risk. RESULTS:Simulations predict that pacing in proximity to scar (0.2 cm) compared to more distant pacing to a scar (4.5 cm) significantly (P <.01) increased dispersion of repolarization in the vicinity of the scar and widened (P <.01) the vulnerable window, increasing the likelihood of unidirectional block. Moreover, slow conduction during HF further increased dispersion (?194%). Analysis of variance and post hoc tests show significantly (P <.01) reduced repolarization dispersion when pacing ?3.5 cm from the scar compared to pacing at 0.2 cm. CONCLUSION:Increased dispersion of repolarization in the vicinity of the scar and widening of the vulnerable window when pacing in proximity to scar provides a mechanistic explanation for VT induction in ICM-CRT with lead placement proximal to scar. Pacing 3.5 cm or more from scar may avoid increasing VT risk in ICM-CRT patients.
Project description:Timothy Syndrome (TS) is caused by very rare exonic mutations of the CACNA1C gene that produce delayed inactivation of Cav1.2 voltage-gated calcium channels during cellular action potentials, with greatly increased influx of calcium into the activated cells. The major clinical feature of this syndrome is a long QT interval that results in cardiac arrhythmias. However, TS also includes cognitive impairment, autism and major developmental delays in many of the patients. We observed the appearance of bipolar disorder (BD) in a patient with a previously reported case of TS, who is one of the very few patients to survive childhood. This is most interesting because the common single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) most highly associated with BD is rs1006737, which we show here is a cis-expression quantitative trait locus for CACNA1C in human cerebellum, and the risk allele (A) is associated with decreased expression. To combine the CACNA1C perturbations in the presence of BD in this patient and in patients with the common CACNA1C SNP risk allele, we would propose that either increase or decrease in calcium influx in excitable cells can be associated with BD. In treatment of BD with calcium channel blocking drugs, we would predict better response in patients without the risk allele, because they have increased CACNA1C expression.
Project description:Dispersion of ventricular repolarization due to abnormal activation contributes to the susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias. However, the global pattern of repolarization is difficult to assess clinically. Activation recovery interval (ARI) has been used to understand the properties of ventricular repolarization. In this study, we developed an ARI imaging technique to noninvasively reconstruct three-dimensional (3D) ARI maps in 10 premature ventricular contraction (PVC) patients and evaluated the results with the endocardial ARI maps recorded by a clinical navigation system (CARTO). From the analysis results of a total of 100 PVC beats in 10 patients, the average correlation coefficient is 0.86±0.05 and the average relative error is 0.06±0.03. The average localization error is 4.5±2.3 mm between the longest ARI sites in 3D ARI maps and those in CARTO endocardial ARI maps. The present results suggest that ARI imaging could serve as an alternative of evaluating global pattern of ventricular repolarization noninvasively and could assist in the future investigation of the relationship between global repolarization dispersion and the susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias.
Project description:Objective:Sympathetic predominance and ventricular repolarization abnormalities represent epilepsy-associated cardiac alterations and may underlie seizure-induced ventricular arrhythmias. Myocardial ion channel and electrical remodeling have been described early in epilepsy development and may contribute to ventricular repolarization abnormalities and excitability. Using the pilocarpine-induced acquired epilepsy model we sought to examine whether altered myocardial ion channel levels and electrophysiological changes also occur in animals with long-standing epilepsy. Methods:We examined myocardial adrenergic receptor and ion channel protein levels of epileptic and age-matched sham rats (9-20 months old) using western blotting. Cardiac electrical properties were examined using optical mapping ex vivo and electrophysiology in vivo. We investigated the propensity for ventricular tachycardia (VT) and the effects of ?-adrenergic blockade on ventricular electrical properties and excitability in vivo. Results:In animals with long-standing epilepsy, we observed decreased myocardial voltage-gated K+ channels Kv4.2 and Kv4.3, which are known to underlie early ventricular repolarization in rodents. Decreased ?1 and increased ?1A adrenergic receptor protein levels occurred in the myocardium of chronically epileptic animals consistent with elevated sympathetic tone. These animals exhibited many cardiac electrophysiological abnormalities, represented by longer QRS and corrected QT (QTc) intervals in vivo, slower conduction velocity ex vivo, and stimulation-induced VT. Administration of a ?-adrenergic antagonist late in epilepsy was beneficial, as the therapy shortened the QTc interval and decreased stimulation-induced VT. Significance:Our findings demonstrate that myocardial ion channel remodeling and sympathetic predominance, risk factors for increased ventricular excitability and arrhythmias, persist in chronic epilepsy. The beneficial effects of ?-adrenergic antagonist treatment late in the course of epilepsy suggest that attenuating elevated sympathetic tone may represent a therapeutic target for ameliorating epilepsy-associated cardiac morbidity.
Project description:Introduction: Cardiac repolarization abnormalities are among the major causes of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. In humans, cardiac repolarization duration has a 24-h rhythm. Animal studies show that this rhythm is regulated by 24-h rhythms in ion channel function and that disruption of this rhythm leads to ventricular arrhythmias. We hypothesized that 24-h rhythms in QT duration can be used as a predictor for sudden cardiac death and are associated with ventricular arrhythmias. Secondly, we assessed a possible mechanistic explanation by studying the putative role of hERG channel dysfunction. Materials and Methods: In 2 retrospective studies, measures of the 24-h variation in the QT and QTc intervals (QT and QTc diurnality, QTd and QTcd, respectively) have been derived from Holter analyses and compared between groups: 1) 39 post-infarct patients with systolic heart failure (CHF: EF < 35%), of which 14 with, and 25 without a history of ventricular arrhythmias and 2) five patients with proven (LQTS2) and 16 with potential (Sotalol-induced) hERG channel dysfunction vs. 22 controls. Results: QTd was two-fold higher in CHF patients with a history of ventricular arrhythmias (38 ± 15 ms) compared to CHF patients without VT (16 ± 9 ms, p = 0.001). QTd was significantly increased in LQT2 patients (43 ± 24 ms) or those treated with Sotalol (30 ± 10 ms) compared to controls (21 ± 8 ms, p < 0.05 for both). Discussion: QT diurnality presents a novel clinical parameter of repolarization that can be derived from Holter registrations and may be useful for identification of patients at risk for ventricular arrhythmias.