Wide-area low-energy surface stimulation of large mammalian ventricular tissue.
ABSTRACT: The epicardial and endocardial surfaces of the heart are attractive targets to administer antiarrhythmic electrotherapies. Electrically stimulating wide areas of the surfaces of small mammalian ventricles is straightforward given the relatively small scale of their myocardial dimensions compared to the tissue space constant and electrical field. However, it has yet to be proven for larger mammalian hearts with tissue properties and ventricular dimensions closer to humans. Our goal was to address the feasibility and impact of wide-area electrical stimulation on the ventricular surfaces of large mammalian hearts at different stimulus strengths. This was accomplished by placing long line electrodes on the ventricular surfaces of pig hearts that span wide areas, and activating them individually. Stimulus efficacy was assessed and compared between surfaces, and tissue viability was evaluated. Activation time was dependent on stimulation strength and location, achieving uniform linear stimulation at 9x threshold strength. Endocardial stimulation activated more tissue transmurally than epicardial stimulation, which could be considered a potential target for future cardiac electrotherapies. Overall, our results indicate that electrically stimulating wide areas of the ventricular surfaces of large mammals is achievable with line electrodes, minimal tissue damage, and energies under the human pain threshold (100 mJ).
Project description:Recurrent ventricular arrhythmias after initial successful defibrillation are associated with poor clinical outcome.We tested the hypothesis that postshock arrhythmias occur because of spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca release, delayed afterdepolarization (DAD), and triggered activity (TA) from tissues with high sensitivity of resting membrane voltage (V(m)) to elevated intracellular calcium (Ca(i)) (high diastolic Ca(i)-voltage coupling gains).We simultaneously mapped Ca(i) and V(m) on epicardial (n=14) or endocardial (n=14) surfaces of Langendorff-perfused rabbit ventricles. Spontaneous Ca(i) elevation (SCaE) was noted after defibrillation in 32% of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation at baseline and in 81% during isoproterenol infusion (0.01 to 1 micromol/L). SCaE was reproducibly induced by rapid ventricular pacing and inhibited by 3 mumol/L of ryanodine. The SCaE amplitude and slope increased with increasing pacing rate, duration, and dose of isoproterenol. We found TAs originating from 6 of 14 endocardial surfaces but none from epicardial surfaces, despite similar amplitudes and slopes of SCaEs between epicardial and endocardial surfaces. This was because DADs were larger on endocardial surfaces as a result of higher diastolic Ca(i)-voltage coupling gain, compared to those of epicardial surfaces. Purkinje-like potentials preceded TAs in all hearts studied (n=7). I(K1) suppression with CsCl (5 mmol/L, n=3), BaCl(2) (3 micromol/L, n=3), and low extracellular potassium (1 mmol/L, n=2) enhanced diastolic Ca(i)-voltage coupling gain and enabled epicardium to also generate TAs.Higher diastolic Ca(i)-voltage coupling gain is essential for genesis of TAs and may underlie postshock arrhythmias arising from Purkinje fibers. I(K)(1) is a major factor that determines the diastolic Ca(i)-voltage coupling gain.
Project description:KCNE1 encodes the beta-subunit of the slow component of the delayed rectifier K(+) current. The Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome is characterized by sensorineural deafness, prolonged QT intervals, and ventricular arrhythmogenicity. Loss-of-function mutations in KCNE1 are implicated in the JLN2 subtype. We recorded left ventricular epicardial and endocardial monophasic action potentials (MAPs) in intact, Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts. KCNE1 (-/-) but not wild-type (WT) hearts showed not only triggered activity and spontaneous ventricular tachycardia (VT), but also VT provoked by programmed electrical stimulation. The presence or absence of VT was related to the following set of criteria for re-entrant excitation for the first time in KCNE1 (-/-) hearts: Quantification of APD(90), the MAP duration at 90% repolarization, demonstrated alterations in (1) the difference, APD(90), between endocardial and epicardial APD(90) and (2) critical intervals for local re-excitation, given by differences between APD(90) and ventricular effective refractory period, reflecting spatial re-entrant substrate. Temporal re-entrant substrate was reflected in (3) increased APD(90) alternans, through a range of pacing rates, and (4) steeper epicardial and endocardial APD(90) restitution curves determined with a dynamic pacing protocol. (5) Nicorandil (20 microM) rescued spontaneous and provoked arrhythmogenic phenomena in KCNE1 (-/-) hearts. WTs remained nonarrhythmogenic. Nicorandil correspondingly restored parameters representing re-entrant criteria in KCNE1 (-/-) hearts toward values found in untreated WTs. It shifted such values in WT hearts in similar directions. Together, these findings directly implicate triggered electrical activity and spatial and temporal re-entrant mechanisms in the arrhythmogenesis observed in KCNE1 (-/-) hearts.
Project description:Pathological left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is consistently associated with prolongation of the ventricular action potentials. A number of previous studies, employing various experimental models of hypertrophy, have revealed marked differences in the effects of hypertrophy on action potential duration (APD) between myocytes from endocardial and epicardial layers of the LV free wall. It is not known, however, whether pathological LVH is also accompanied by redistribution of APD among myocytes from the same layer in the LV free wall. In the experiments here, LV epicardial action potential remodeling was examined in a mouse model of decompensated LVH, produced by cardiac-restricted transgenic G?q overexpression. Confocal linescanning-based optical recordings of propagated action potentials from individual in situ cardiomyocytes across the outer layer of the anterior LV epicardium demonstrated spatially non-uniform action potential prolongation in transgenic hearts, giving rise to alterations in spatial dispersion of epicardial repolarization. Local density and distribution of anti-Cx43 mmune reactivity in G?q hearts were unchanged compared to wild-type hearts, suggesting preservation of intercellular coupling. Confocal microscopy also revealed heterogeneous disorganization of T-tubules in epicardial cardiomyocytes in situ. These data provide evidence of the existence of significant electrical and structural heterogeneity within the LV epicardial layer of hearts with transgenic G?q overexpression-induced hypertrophy, and further support the notion that a small portion of electrically well connected LV tissue can maintain dispersion of action potential duration through heterogeneity in the activities of sarcolemmal ionic currents that control repolarization. It remains to be examined whether other experimental models of pathological LVH, including pressure overload LVH, similarly exhibit alterations in T-tubule organization and/or dispersion of repolarization within distinct layers of LV myocardium.
Project description:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a lethal familial disease characterized by bidirectional VT, polymorphic VT, and ventricular fibrillation. Catecholaminergic polymorphic VT is caused by enhanced Ca2+ release through defective ryanodine receptor (RyR2) channels. We used epicardial and endocardial optical mapping, chemical subendocardial ablation with Lugol's solution, and patch clamping in a knockin (RyR2/RyR2(R4496C)) mouse model to investigate the arrhythmogenic mechanisms in catecholaminergic polymorphic VT. In isolated hearts, spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias occurred in 54% of 13 RyR2/RyR2(R4496C) and in 9% of 11 wild-type (P=0.03) littermates perfused with Ca2+and isoproterenol; 66% of 12 RyR2/RyR2(R4496C) and 20% of 10 wild-type hearts perfused with caffeine and epinephrine showed arrhythmias (P=0.04). Epicardial mapping showed that monomorphic VT, bidirectional VT, and polymorphic VT manifested as concentric epicardial breakthrough patterns, suggesting a focal origin in the His-Purkinje networks of either or both ventricles. Monomorphic VT was clearly unifocal, whereas bidirectional VT was bifocal. Polymorphic VT was initially multifocal but eventually became reentrant and degenerated into ventricular fibrillation. Endocardial mapping confirmed the Purkinje fiber origin of the focal arrhythmias. Chemical ablation of the right ventricular endocardial cavity with Lugol's solution induced complete right bundle branch block and converted the bidirectional VT into monomorphic VT in 4 anesthetized RyR2/RyR2(R4496C) mice. Under current clamp, single Purkinje cells from RyR2/RyR2(R4496C) mouse hearts generated delayed afterdepolarization-induced triggered activity at lower frequencies and level of adrenergic stimulation than wild-type. Overall, the data demonstrate that the His-Purkinje system is an important source of focal arrhythmias in catecholaminergic polymorphic VT.
Project description:Zebrafish heart regeneration occurs through the activation of cardiomyocyte proliferation in areas of trauma. Here, we show that within 3 hr of ventricular injury, the entire endocardium undergoes morphological changes and induces expression of the retinoic acid (RA)-synthesizing enzyme raldh2. By one day posttrauma, raldh2 expression becomes localized to endocardial cells at the injury site, an area that is supplemented with raldh2-expressing epicardial cells as cardiogenesis begins. Induced transgenic inhibition of RA receptors or expression of an RA-degrading enzyme blocked regenerative cardiomyocyte proliferation. Injured hearts of the ancient fish Polypterus senegalus also induced and maintained robust endocardial and epicardial raldh2 expression coincident with cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas poorly regenerative infarcted murine hearts did not. Our findings reveal that the endocardium is a dynamic, injury-responsive source of RA in zebrafish, and indicate key roles for endocardial and epicardial cells in targeting RA synthesis to damaged heart tissue and promoting cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Project description:In catheter ablation of scar-related monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT), substrate voltage mapping is used to electrically define the scar during sinus rhythm. However, the electrically defined scar may not accurately reflect the anatomical scar. Magnetic resonance-based visualization of the scar may elucidate the 3D anatomical correlation between the fine structural details of the scar and scar-related VT circuits. We registered VT activation sequence with the 3D scar anatomy derived from high-resolution contrast-enhanced MRI in a swine model of chronic myocardial infarction using epicardial sock electrodes (n=6, epicardial group), which have direct contact with the myocardium where the electrical signal is recorded. In a separate group of animals (n=5, endocardial group), we also assessed the incidence of endocardial reentry in this model using endocardial basket catheters. Ten to 12 weeks after myocardial infarction, sustained monomorphic VT was reproducibly induced in all animals (n=11). In the epicardial group, 21 VT morphologies were induced, of which 4 (19.0%) showed epicardial reentry. The reentry isthmus was characterized by a relatively small volume of viable myocardium bound by the scar tissue at the infarct border zone or over the infarct. In the endocardial group (n=5), 6 VT morphologies were induced, of which 4 (66.7%) showed endocardial reentry. In conclusion, MRI revealed a scar with spatially complex structures, particularly at the isthmus, with substrate for multiple VT morphologies after a single ischemic episode. Magnetic resonance-based visualization of scar morphology would potentially contribute to preprocedural planning for catheter ablation of scar-related, unmappable VT.
Project description:The clinical effects of hypokalemia including action potential prolongation and arrhythmogenicity suppressible by lidocaine were reproduced in hypokalemic (3.0 mM K(+)) Langendorff-perfused murine hearts before and after exposure to lidocaine (10 muM). Novel limiting criteria for local and transmural, epicardial, and endocardial re-excitation involving action potential duration (at 90% repolarization, APD(90)), ventricular effective refractory period (VERP), and transmural conduction time (Deltalatency), where appropriate, were applied to normokalemic (5.2 mM K(+)) and hypokalemic hearts. Hypokalemia increased epicardial APD(90) from 46.6 +/- 1.2 to 53.1 +/- 0.7 ms yet decreased epicardial VERP from 41 +/- 4 to 29 +/- 1 ms, left endocardial APD(90) unchanged (58.2 +/- 3.7 to 56.9 +/- 4.0 ms) yet decreased endocardial VERP from 48 +/- 4 to 29 +/- 2 ms, and left Deltalatency unchanged (1.6 +/- 1.4 to 1.1 +/- 1.1 ms; eight normokalemic and five hypokalemic hearts). These findings precisely matched computational predictions based on previous reports of altered ion channel gating and membrane hyperpolarization. Hypokalemia thus shifted all re-excitation criteria in the positive direction. In contrast, hypokalemia spared epicardial APD(90) (54.8 +/- 2.7 to 60.6 +/- 2.7 ms), epicardial VERP (84 +/- 5 to 81 +/- 7 ms), endocardial APD(90) (56.6 +/- 4.2 to 63.7 +/- 6.4 ms), endocardial VERP (80 +/- 2 to 84 +/- 4 ms), and Deltalatency (12.5 +/- 6.2 to 7.6 +/- 3.4 ms; five hearts in each case) in lidocaine-treated hearts. Exposure to lidocaine thus consistently shifted all re-excitation criteria in the negative direction, again precisely agreeing with the arrhythmogenic findings. In contrast, established analyses invoking transmural dispersion of repolarization failed to account for any of these findings. We thus establish novel, more general, criteria predictive of arrhythmogenicity that may be particularly useful where APD(90) might diverge sharply from VERP.
Project description:The experiments investigated the applicability of two established criteria for arrhythmogenicity in Scn5a+/Delta and Scn5a+/- murine hearts modelling the congenital long QT syndrome type 3 (LQT3) and the Brugada syndrome (BrS). Monophasic action potentials (APs) recorded during extrasystolic stimulation procedures from Langendorff-perfused control hearts and hearts treated with flecainide (1 microM) or quinidine (1 or 10 microM) demonstrated that both agents were pro-arrhythmic in wild-type (WT) hearts, quinidine was pro-arrhythmic in Scn5a+/Delta hearts, and that flecainide was pro-arrhythmic whereas quinidine was anti-arrhythmic in Scn5a+/- hearts, confirming clinical findings. Statistical analysis confirmed a quadratic relationship between epicardial and endocardial AP durations (APDs) in WT control hearts. However, comparisons between plots of epicardial against endocardial APDs and this reference curve failed to correlate with arrhythmogenicity. Restitution curves, relating APD to diastolic interval (DI), were then constructed for the first time in a murine system and mono-exponential growth functions fitted to these curves. Significant (P<0.05) alterations in the DI at which slopes equalled unity, an established indicator of arrhythmogenicity, now successfully predicted the presence or absence of arrhythmogenicity in all cases. We thus associate changes in the slopes of restitution curves with arrhythmogenicity in models of LQT3 and BrS.
Project description:Myocardial hibernation (MH) is a well-known feature of human ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), whereas its presence in human idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is still controversial. We investigated the histological and molecular features of MH in left ventricle (LV) regions of failing DCM or ICM hearts. We examined failing hearts from DCM (n = 11; 41.9 ± 5.45 years; left ventricle-ejection fraction (LV-EF), 18 ± 3.16%) and ICM patients (n = 12; 58.08 ± 1.7 years; LVEF, 21.5 ± 6.08%) undergoing cardiac transplantation, and normal donor hearts (N, n = 8). LV inter-ventricular septum (IVS) and antero-lateral free wall (FW) were transmurally (i.e. sub-epicardial, mesocardial and sub-endocardial layers) analysed. LV glycogen content was shown to be increased in both DCM and ICM as compared with N hearts (P < 0.001), with a U-shaped transmural distribution (lower values in mesocardium). Capillary density was homogenously reduced in both DCM and ICM as compared with N (P < 0.05 versus N), with a lower decrease independent of the extent of fibrosis in sub-endocardial and sub-epicardial layers of DCM as compared with ICM. HIF1-? and nestin, recognized ischaemic molecular hallmarks, were similarly expressed in DCM-LV and ICM-LV myocardium. The proteomic profile was overlapping by ~50% in DCM and ICM groups. Morphological and molecular features of MH were detected in end-stage ICM as well as in end-stage DCM LV, despite epicardial coronary artery patency and lower fibrosis in DCM hearts. Unravelling the presence of MH in the absence of coronary stenosis may be helpful to design a novel approach in the clinical management of DCM.
Project description:Defective coronary network function and insufficient blood supply are both cause and consequence of myocardial infarction. Efficient revascularization after infarction is essential to support tissue repair and function. Zebrafish hearts exhibit a remarkable ability to regenerate, and coronary revascularization initiates within hours of injury, but how this process is regulated remains unknown. Here, we show that revascularization requires a coordinated multi-tissue response culminating with the formation of a complex vascular network available as a scaffold for cardiomyocyte repopulation. During a process we term "coronary-endocardial anchoring," new coronaries respond by sprouting (1) superficially within the regenerating epicardium and (2) intra-ventricularly toward the activated endocardium. Mechanistically, superficial revascularization is guided by epicardial Cxcl12-Cxcr4 signaling and intra-ventricular sprouting by endocardial Vegfa signaling. Our findings indicate that the injury-activated epicardium and endocardium support cardiomyocyte replenishment initially through the guidance of coronary sprouting. Simulating this process in the injured mammalian heart should help its healing.