β-Adrenergic Receptor Stimulation and Alternans in the Border Zone of a Healed Infarct: An ex vivo Study and Computational Investigation of Arrhythmogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Background: Following myocardial infarction (MI), the myocardium is prone to calcium-driven alternans, which typically precedes ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. MI is also associated with remodeling of the sympathetic innervation in the infarct border zone, although how this influences arrhythmogenesis is controversial. We hypothesize that the border zone is most vulnerable to alternans, that β-adrenergic receptor stimulation can suppresses this, and investigate the consequences in terms of arrhythmogenic mechanisms. Methods and Results: Anterior MI was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 8) and allowed to heal over 2 months. This resulted in scar formation, significant (p < 0.05) dilation of the left ventricle, and reduction in ejection fraction compared to sham operated rats (n = 4) on 7 T cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Dual voltage/calcium optical mapping of post-MI Langendorff perfused hearts (using RH-237 and Rhod2) demonstrated that the border zone was significantly more prone to alternans than the surrounding myocardium at longer cycle lengths, predisposing to spatially heterogeneous alternans. β-Adrenergic receptor stimulation with norepinephrine (1 μmol/L) attenuated alternans by 60 [52-65]% [interquartile range] and this was reversed with metoprolol (10 μmol/L, p = 0.008). These results could be reproduced by computer modeling of the border zone based on our knowledge of β-adrenergic receptor signaling pathways and their influence on intracellular calcium handling and ion channels. Simulations also demonstrated that β-adrenergic receptor stimulation in this specific region reduced the formation of conduction block and the probability of premature ventricular activation propagation. Conclusion: While high levels of overall cardiac sympathetic drive are a negative prognostic indicator of mortality following MI and during heart failure, β-adrenergic receptor stimulation in the infarct border zone reduced spatially heterogeneous alternans, and prevented conduction block and propagation of extrasystoles. This may help explain recent clinical imaging studies using meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) and 11C-meta-hydroxyephedrine positron emission tomography (PET) which demonstrate that border zone denervation is strongly associated with a high risk of future arrhythmia.
Project description:The border zone (BZ) of the viable myocardium adjacent to an infarct undergoes extensive autonomic and electrical remodeling and is prone to repolarization alternans-induced cardiac arrhythmias. BZ remodeling processes may promote or inhibit Ca2+ and/or repolarization alternans and may differentially affect ventricular arrhythmogenesis. Here, we used a detailed computational model of the canine ventricular cardiomyocyte to study the determinants of alternans in the BZ and their regulation by β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) stimulation. The BZ model developed Ca2+ transient alternans at slower pacing cycle lengths than the control model, suggesting that the BZ may promote spatially heterogeneous alternans formation in an infarcted heart. β-AR stimulation abolished alternans. By evaluating all combinations of downstream β-AR stimulation targets, we identified both direct (via ryanodine receptor channels) and indirect [via sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load] modulation of SR Ca2+ release as critical determinants of Ca2+ transient alternans. These findings were confirmed in a human ventricular cardiomyocyte model. Cell-to-cell coupling indirectly modulated the likelihood of alternans by affecting the action potential upstroke, reducing the trigger for SR Ca2+ release in one-dimensional strand simulations. However, β-AR stimulation inhibited alternans in both single and multicellular simulations. Taken together, these data highlight a potential antiarrhythmic role of sympathetic hyperinnervation in the BZ by reducing the likelihood of alternans and provide new insights into the underlying mechanisms controlling Ca2+ transient and repolarization alternans.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We integrated, for the first time, postmyocardial infarction electrical and autonomic remodeling in a detailed, validated computer model of β-adrenergic stimulation in ventricular cardiomyocytes. Here, we show that β-adrenergic stimulation inhibits alternans and provide novel insights into underlying mechanisms, adding to a recent controversy about pro-/antiarrhythmic effects of postmyocardial infarction hyperinnervation.Listen to this article's corresponding podcast at http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/%CE%B2-ar-stimulation-and-alternans-in-border-zone-cardiomyocytes/.
Project description:Cardiac action potential alternans and early afterdepolarizations (EADs) are linked to cardiac arrhythmias. Periodic action potentials (period 1) in healthy conditions bifurcate to other states such as period 2 or chaos when alternans or EADs occur in pathological conditions. The mechanisms of alternans and EADs have been extensively studied under steady-state conditions, but lethal arrhythmias often occur during the transition between steady states. Why arrhythmias tend to develop during the transition is unclear. We used low-dimensional mathematical models to analyze dynamical mechanisms of transient alternans and EADs. We show that depending on the route from one state to another, action potential alternans and EADs may occur during the transition between two periodic steady states. The route taken depends on the time course of external perturbations or intrinsic signaling, such as ?-adrenergic stimulation, which regulate cardiac calcium and potassium currents with differential kinetics.
Project description:Cardiac alternans are proarrhythmic and mechanistically link cardiac mechanical dysfunction and sudden cardiac death. Beat-to-beat alternans occur when beats with large Ca(2+) transients and long action potential duration (APD) alternate with the converse. APD alternans are typically driven by Ca(2+) alternans and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release alternans. But the effect of intercellular communication via gap junctions (GJ) on alternans in the intact heart remains unknown.We assessed the effects of cell-to-cell coupling on local alternans in intact Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts, measuring single myocyte [Ca(2+)] alternans synchronization among neighboring cells, and effects of ?-adrenergic receptor (?-AR) activation and reduced GJ coupling.Mouse hearts (C57BL/6) were retrogradely perfused and loaded with Fluo8-AM to record cardiac myocyte [Ca(2+)] in situ with confocal microscopy. Single cell resolution allowed analysis of alternans within the intact organ during alternans induction. Carbenoxolone (25 ?M), a GJ inhibitor, significantly increased the occurrence and amplitude of alternans in single cells within the intact heart. Alternans were concordant between neighboring cells throughout the field of view, except transiently during onset. ?-AR stimulation only reduced Ca(2+) alternans in tissue that had reduced GJ coupling, matching effects seen in isolated myocytes.Ca(2+) alternans among neighboring myocytes is predominantly concordant, likely because of electrical coupling between cells. Consistent with this, partial GJ uncoupling increased propensity and amplitude of Ca(2+) alternans, and made them more sensitive to reversal by ?-AR activation, as in isolated myocytes. Electrical coupling between myocytes may thus limit the alternans initiation, but also allow alternans to be more stable once established.
Project description:The mechanisms of J wave syndrome (JWS) are incompletely understood. Here, we showed that the concomitant activation of small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) current (IKAS) and inhibition of sodium current by cyclohexyl-[2-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl)-6-methyl-pyrimidin-4-yl]-amine (CyPPA) recapitulate the phenotypes of JWS in Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts. CyPPA induced significant J wave elevation and frequent spontaneous ventricular fibrillation (SVF), as well as sinus bradycardia, atrioventricular block, and intraventricular conduction delay. IKAS activation by CyPPA resulted in heterogeneous shortening of action potential (AP) duration (APD) and repolarization alternans. CyPPA inhibited cardiac sodium current (INa) and decelerated AP upstroke and intracellular calcium transient. SVFs were typically triggered by short-coupled premature ventricular contractions, initiated with phase 2 reentry and originated more frequently from the right than the left ventricles. Subsequent IKAS blockade by apamin reduced J wave elevation and eliminated SVF. ?-Adrenergic stimulation was antiarrhythmic in CyPPA-induced electrical storm. Like CyPPA, hypothermia (32.0°C) also induced J wave elevation and SVF. It facilitated negative calcium-voltage coupling and phase 2 repolarization alternans with spatial and electromechanical discordance, which were ameliorated by apamin. These findings suggest that IKAS activation contributes to the development of JWS in rabbit ventricles.
Project description:KEY POINTS:Ventricular arrhythmias are a major complication after myocardial infarction (MI), associated with sympathetic activation. The structurally heterogeneous peri-infarct zone is a known substrate, but the functional role of the myocytes is less well known. Recordings of monophasic action potentials in vivo reveal that the peri-infarct zone is a source of delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs) and has a high beat-to-beat variability of repolarization (BVR) during adrenergic stimulation (isoproterenol, ISO). Myocytes isolated from the peri-infarct region have more DADs and spontaneous action potentials, with spontaneous Ca2+ release, under ISO. These myocytes also have reduced repolarization reserve and increased BVR. Other properties of post-MI remodelling are present in both peri-infarct and remote myocytes. These data highlight the importance of altered myocyte adrenergic responses in the peri-infarct region as source and substrate of post-MI arrhythmias. ABSTRACT:Ventricular arrhythmias are a major early complication after myocardial infarction (MI). The heterogeneous peri-infarct zone forms a substrate for re-entry while arrhythmia initiation is often associated with sympathetic activation. We studied the mechanisms triggering these post-MI arrhythmias in vivo and their relation to regional myocyte remodelling. In pigs with chronic MI (6 weeks), in vivo monophasic action potentials were simultaneously recorded in the peri-infarct and remote regions during adrenergic stimulation with isoproterenol (isoprenaline; ISO). Sham animals served as controls. During infusion of ISO in vivo, the incidence of delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs) and beat-to-beat variability of repolarization (BVR) was higher in the peri-infarct than in the remote region. Myocytes isolated from the peri-infarct region, in comparison to myocytes from the remote region, had more DADs, associated with spontaneous Ca2+ release, and a higher incidence of spontaneous action potentials (APs) when exposed to ISO (9.99 ± 4.2 vs. 0.16 ± 0.05 APs/min, p = 0.004); these were suppressed by CaMKII inhibition. Peri-infarct myocytes also had reduced repolarization reserve and increased BVR (26 ± 10 ms vs. 9 ± 7 ms, P < 0.001), correlating with DAD activity. In contrast to these regional distinctions under ISO, alterations in Ca2+ handling at baseline and myocyte hypertrophy were present throughout the left ventricle (LV). Expression of some of the related genes was, however, different between the regions. In conclusion, altered myocyte adrenergic responses in the peri-infarct but not the remote region provide a source of triggered activity in vivo and of repolarization instability amplifying the substrate for re-entry. These findings stimulate further exploration of region-specific therapies targeting myocytes and autonomic modulation.
Project description:Testosterone is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. This study evaluated cardiac remodeling 60 days after myocardial infarction (MI) in rats with testosterone deficiency. One week after castration, the animals underwent myocardial infarction. Rats were divided into four groups: orchidectomized (OCT); orchidectomized and infarcted (OCT+MI), MI and control (Sham). The myocyte cross-sectional area and the papillary muscle contractility were evaluated 8 weeks after MI. The coronary bed was perfused with Biodur E20 resin to evaluate the neovascularization after MI. Data were expressed as mean ± SEM followed by ANOVA. Castration reduced myocyte hypertrophy when compared to Sham and myocardial infarction alone as well as preserved the contraction force and activation time after myocardial infarction. After beta-adrenergic stimulation, activation and relaxation kinetics were less impaired in the OCT+MI group than in the MI group. Contraction force was preserved in the OCT+MI group after beta-adrenergic stimulation. Multiple scanning electronic microscope images were obtained to characterize changes in the coronary arteries. Capillary density index was increased in the MI and OCT+MI groups compared with control. The MI and OCT+MI groups were characterized by irregular vessel arrangements with distorted shape, abrupt changes in vessel direction, as well as abrupt changes in diameter after bifurcations when compared to Sham and OCT. The results indicated that testosterone deficiency attenuates adverse cardiac remodeling after MI. Novel findings in this study were that testosterone deficiency in rats, induced by castration, changes the later remodeling after MI, when compared with non castrated rats. The absence of this androgenous hormone seems to be benefic against pathological hypertrophy.
Project description:Modulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has already been demonstrated to display antiarrhythmic effects in patients and animals with MI. In this study, we investigated whether local cardiac denervation has any beneficial effects on ventricular electrical stability and cardiac function in the chronic phase of MI.Twenty-one anesthetized dogs were randomly assigned into the sham-operated, MI and MI-ablation groups, respectively. Four weeks after local cardiac denervation, LSG stimulation was used to induce VPCs and VAs. The ventricular fibrillation threshold (VFT) and the incidence of inducible VPCs were measured with electrophysiological protocol. Cardiac innervation was determined with immunohistochemical staining of growth associated protein-43 (GAP43) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The global cardiac and regional ventricular function was evaluated with doppler echocardiography in this study.Four weeks after operation, the incidence of inducible VPC and VF in MI-ablation group were significantly reduced compared to the MI dogs (p<0.05). Moreover, local cardiac denervation significantly improved VFT in the infarcted border zone (p<0.05). The densities of GAP43 and TH-positive nerve fibers in the infarcted border zone in the MI-ablation group were lower than those in the MI group (p<0.05). However, the local cardiac denervation did not significantly improve cardiac function in the chronic phase of MI, determined by the left ventricle diameter (LV), left atrial diameter (LA), ejection fraction (EF).Summarily, in the chronic phase of MI, local cardiac denervation reduces the ventricular electrical instability, and attenuates spatial heterogeneity of sympathetic nerve reconstruction. Our study suggests that this methodology might decrease malignant ventricular arrhythmia in chronic MI, and has a great potential for clinical application.
Project description:The incidence of sudden arrhythmic death is markedly increased in diabetics.The purpose of this study was to develop a mouse model for postmyocardial infarction (post-MI) ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the diabetic heart and determine the mechanism of an antiarrhythmic effect of statins.ECG transmitters were implanted in wild-type (WT), placebo, and pravastatin-treated type I diabetic Akita mice. MIs were induced by coronary ligation, and Ca2+ transients were studied by optical mapping, and Ca2+ transients and sparks in left ventricular myocytes (VM) by the Ionoptix system and confocal microscopy.Burst pacing of Akita mouse hearts resulted in rate-related QRS/T-wave alternans, which was attenuated in pravastatin-treated mice. Post-MI Akita mice developed QRS/T-wave alternans and VT at 2820 ± 879 beats per mouse, which decreased to 343 ± 115 in pravastatin-treated mice (n = 13, P <.05). Optical mapping demonstrated pacing-induced VT originating in the peri-infarction zone and Ca2+ alternans, both attenuated in hearts of statin-treated mice. Akita VM displayed Ca2+ alternans, and triggered activity as well as increased Ca2+ transient decay time (Tau), Ca2+ sparks, and cytosolic Ca2+ and decreased SR Ca2+ stores all of which were in part reversed in cells from statin treated mice. Homogenates of Akita ventricles demonstrated decreased SERCA2a/PLB ratio and increased ratio of protein phosphatase (PP-1) to the PP-1 inhibitor PPI-1 which were reversed in homogenates of pravastatin-treated Akita mice.Pravastatin decreased the incidence of post-MI VT and Ca2+ alternans in Akita mouse hearts in part by revering abnormalities of Ca2+ handling via the PP-1/PPI-1 pathway.
Project description:The status of beta-adrenergic receptors was investigated in A431 cells exposed to chronic stimulation by the beta-adrenergic agonist, (-)-isoproterenol. Specific binding of beta-adrenergic antagonist (-)-[125I]iodocyanopindolol declined to 60-80% below control values within 12 h of agonist treatment. This decline in ligand binding was also observed in high-speed membrane fractions prepared from agonist-treated cells. Immunoblots probed with anti-receptor antibodies revealed both that beta-adrenergic receptors from untreated and treated cells migrated as 65,000-Mr peptides and that the cellular complement of receptor was unchanged. Indirect immunofluorescence localization of beta-adrenergic receptors was comparable in control (untreated) cells and cells challenged with (-)-isoproterenol for 1, 12, or 24 h. Thus receptor complement, migration on SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and localization in situ are largely unaffected by agonist stimulation. Receptor binding of antagonist radioligands, in contrast, is markedly down-regulated in cells stimulated chronically with beta-adrenergic agonists. These data argue in favour of agonist-induced alteration(s) in the conformation of the receptor that preclude radioligand binding rather than agonist-induced receptor sequestration and/or degradation.
Project description:The transverse tubular system (t-system) of ventricular cardiomyocytes is essential for efficient excitation-contraction coupling. In cardiac diseases, such as heart failure, remodeling of the t-system contributes to reduced cardiac contractility. However, mechanisms of t-system remodeling are incompletely understood. Prior studies suggested an association with altered cardiac biomechanics and gene expression in disease. Since fibrosis may alter tissue biomechanics, we investigated the local microscopic association of t-system remodeling with fibrosis in a rabbit model of myocardial infarction (MI). Biopsies were taken from the MI border zone of 6 infarcted hearts and from 6 control hearts. Using confocal microscopy and automated image analysis, we quantified t-system integrity (ITT) and the local fraction of extracellular matrix (fECM). In control, fECM was 18 ± 0.3%. ITT was high and homogeneous (0.07 ± 0.006), and did not correlate with fECM (R2 = 0.05 ± 0.02). The MI border zone exhibited increased fECM within 3 mm from the infarct scar (30 ± 3.5%, p < 0.01 vs control), indicating fibrosis. Myocytes in the MI border zone exhibited significant t-system remodeling, with dilated, sheet-like components, resulting in low ITT (0.03 ± 0.008, p < 0.001 vs control). While both fECM and t-system remodeling decreased with infarct distance, ITT correlated better with decreasing fECM (R2 = 0.44) than with infarct distance (R2 = 0.24, p < 0.05). Our results show that t-system remodeling in the rabbit MI border zone resembles a phenotype previously described in human heart failure. T-system remodeling correlated with the amount of local fibrosis, which is known to stiffen cardiac tissue, but was not found in regions without fibrosis. Thus, locally altered tissue mechanics may contribute to t-system remodeling.