2,083 research outputs found

    Enhancement of Gap Junction Function During Acute Myocardial Infarction Modifies Healing and Reduces Late Ventricular Arrhythmia Susceptibility

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    Objectives: To investigate the effects of enhancing gap junction (GJ) coupling during acute myocardial infarction (MI) on the healed infarct scar morphology and late post-MI arrhythmia susceptibility. Background: Increased heterogeneity of myocardial scarring after MI is associated with greater arrhythmia susceptibility. We hypothesized that short-term enhancement of GJ coupling during acute MI can produce more homogeneous infarct scars, reducing late susceptibility to post-MI arrhythmias. Methods: Following arrhythmic characterisation of the rat 4-week post-MI model (n=24), a further 27 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomised to receive rotigaptide to enhance GJ coupling (n=13) or saline control (n=14) by osmotic minipump immediately prior to, and for the first 7 days following surgical MI. At 4 weeks post-MI, hearts were explanted for ex vivo programmed electrical stimulation (PES) and optical mapping. Heterogeneity of infarct border zone (IBZ) scarring was quantified by histomorphometry. Results: Despite no detectable difference in infarct size at 4 weeks post-MI, rotigaptide-treated hearts had reduced arrhythmia susceptibility during PES (Inducibility score: rotigaptide 2.40.8, control 5.00.6, p=0.02) and less heterogeneous IBZ scarring (standard deviation of IBZ Complexity Score: rotigaptide 1.10.1, control 1.40.1, p=0.04), associated with an improvement in IBZ conduction velocity (rotigaptide 43.13.4 cm/s, control 34.82.0 cm/s, p=0.04). Conclusions: Enhancement of GJ coupling for only 7 days at the time of acute MI produced more homogeneous IBZ scarring and reduced arrhythmia susceptibility at 4 weeks post-MI. Short-term GJ modulation at the time of MI may represent a novel treatment strategy to modify the healed infarct scar morphology and reduce late post-MI arrhythmic risk

    Model of unidirectional block formation leading to reentrant ventricular tachycardia in the infarct border zone of postinfarction canine hearts

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    AbstractBackgroundWhen the infarct border zone is stimulated prematurely, a unidirectional block line (UBL) can form and lead to double-loop (figure-of-eight) reentrant ventricular tachycardia (VT) with a central isthmus. The isthmus is composed of an entrance, center, and exit. It was hypothesized that for certain stimulus site locations and coupling intervals, the UBL would coincide with the isthmus entrance boundary, where infarct border zone thickness changes from thin-to-thick in the travel direction of the premature stimulus wavefront.MethodA quantitative model was developed to describe how thin-to-thick changes in the border zone result in critically convex wavefront curvature leading to conduction block, which is dependent upon coupling interval. The model was tested in 12 retrospectively analyzed postinfarction canine experiments. Electrical activation was mapped for premature stimulation and for the first reentrant VT cycle. The relationship of functional conduction block forming during premature stimulation to functional block during reentrant VT was quantified.ResultsFor an appropriately placed stimulus, in accord with model predictions: 1. The UBL and reentrant VT isthmus lateral boundaries overlapped (error: 4.8±5.7mm). 2. The UBL leading edge coincided with the distal isthmus where the center-entrance boundary would be expected to occur. 3. The mean coupling interval was 164.6±11.0ms during premature stimulation and 190.7±20.4ms during the first reentrant VT cycle, in accord with model calculations, which resulted in critically convex wavefront curvature and functional conduction block, respectively, at the location of the isthmus entrance boundary and at the lateral isthmus edges.DiscussionReentrant VT onset following premature stimulation can be explained by the presence of critically convex wavefront curvature and unidirectional block at the isthmus entrance boundary when the premature stimulation interval is sufficiently short. The double-loop reentrant circuit pattern is a consequence of wavefront bifurcation around this UBL followed by coalescence, and then impulse propagation through the isthmus. The wavefront is blocked from propagating laterally away from the isthmus by sharp increases in border zone thickness, which results in critically convex wavefront curvature at VT cycle lengths

    Overexpression of connexin 43 using a retroviral vector improves electrical coupling of skeletal myoblasts with cardiac myocytes in vitro.

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    BACKGROUND: Organ transplantation is presently often the only available option to repair a damaged heart. As heart donors are scarce, engineering of cardiac grafts from autologous skeletal myoblasts is a promising novel therapeutic strategy. The functionality of skeletal muscle cells in the heart milieu is, however, limited because of their inability to integrate electrically and mechanically into the myocardium. Therefore, in pursuit of improved cardiac integration of skeletal muscle grafts we sought to modify primary skeletal myoblasts by overexpression of the main gap-junctional protein connexin 43 and to study electrical coupling of connexin 43 overexpressing myoblasts to cardiac myocytes in vitro. METHODS: To create an efficient means for overexpression of connexin 43 in skeletal myoblasts we constructed a bicistronic retroviral vector MLV-CX43-EGFP expressing the human connexin 43 cDNA and the marker EGFP gene. This vector was employed to transduce primary rat skeletal myoblasts in optimised conditions involving a concomitant use of the retrovirus immobilising protein RetroNectin and the polycation transduction enhancer Transfectam. The EGFP-positive transduced cells were then enriched by flow cytometry. RESULTS: More than four-fold overexpression of connexin 43 in the transduced skeletal myoblasts, compared with non-transduced cells, was shown by Western blotting. Functionality of the overexpressed connexin 43 was demonstrated by microinjection of a fluorescent dye showing enhanced gap-junctional intercellular transfer in connexin 43 transduced myoblasts compared with transfer in non-transduced myoblasts. Rat cardiac myocytes were cultured in multielectrode array culture dishes together with connexin 43/EGFP transduced skeletal myoblasts, control non-transduced skeletal myoblasts or alone. Extracellular field action potential activation rates in the co-cultures of connexin 43 transduced skeletal myoblasts with cardiac myocytes were significantly higher than in the co-cultures of non-transduced skeletal myoblasts with cardiac myocytes and similar to the rates in pure cultures of cardiac myocytes. CONCLUSION: The observed elevated field action potential activation rate in the co-cultures of cardiac myocytes with connexin 43 transduced skeletal myoblasts indicates enhanced cell-to-cell electrical coupling due to overexpression of connexin 43 in skeletal myoblasts. This study suggests that retroviral connexin 43 transduction can be employed to augment engineering of the electrocompetent cardiac grafts from patients own skeletal myoblasts

    Evidence that conflict regarding size of haemodynamic response to interventricular delay optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy may arise from differences in how atrioventricular delay is kept constant.

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    Aims: Whether adjusting interventricular (VV) delay changes haemodynamic efficacy of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is controversial, with conflicting results. This study addresses whether the convention for keeping atrioventricular (AV) delay constant during VV optimization might explain these conflicts. / Method and results: Twenty-two patients in sinus rhythm with existing CRT underwent VV optimization using non-invasive systolic blood pressure. Interventricular optimization was performed with four methods for keeping the AV delay constant: (i) atrium and left ventricle delay kept constant, (ii) atrium and right ventricle delay kept constant, (iii) time to the first-activated ventricle kept constant, and (iv) time to the second-activated ventricle kept constant. In 11 patients this was performed with AV delay of 120 ms, and in 11 at AV optimum. At AV 120 ms, time to the first ventricular lead (left or right) was the overwhelming determinant of haemodynamics (13.75 mmHg at ±80 ms, P < 0.001) with no significant effect of time to second lead (0.47 mmHg, P = 0.50), P < 0.001 for difference. At AV optimum, time to first ventricular lead again had a larger effect (5.03 mmHg, P < 0.001) than time to second (2.92 mmHg, P = 0.001), P = 0.02 for difference. / Conclusion: Time to first ventricular activation is the overwhelming determinant of circulatory function, regardless of whether this is the left or right ventricular lead. If this is kept constant, the effect of changing time to the second ventricle is small or nil, and is not beneficial. In practice, it may be advisable to leave VV delay at zero. Specifying how AV delay is kept fixed might make future VV delay research more enlightening

    Electrocardiographic patch devices and contemporary wireless cardiac monitoring.

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    Cardiac electrophysiologic derangements often coexist with disorders of the circulatory system. Capturing and diagnosing arrhythmias and conduction system disease may lead to a change in diagnosis, clinical management and patient outcomes. Standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitors and event recorders have served as useful diagnostic tools over the last few decades. However, their shortcomings are only recently being addressed by emerging technologies. With advances in device miniaturization and wireless technologies, and changing consumer expectations, wearable “on-body” ECG patch devices have evolved to meet contemporary needs. These devices are unobtrusive and easy to use, leading to increased device wear time and diagnostic yield. While becoming the standard for detecting arrhythmias and conduction system disorders in the outpatient setting where continuous ECG monitoring in the short to medium term (days to weeks) is indicated, these cardiac devices and related digital mobile health technologies are reshaping the clinician-patient interface with important implications for future healthcare delivery

    Characterisation of re-entrant circuit (or rotational activity) in vitro using the HL1-6 myocyte cell line

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    Fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia observed in clinical practice. Understanding of the mechanisms underlying its initiation and maintenance remains incomplete. Functional re-entries are potential drivers of the arrhythmia. Two main concepts are still debated, the “leading circle” and the “spiral wave or rotor” theories. The homogeneous subclone of the HL1 atrial-derived cardiomyocyte cell line, HL1-6, spontaneously exhibits re-entry on a microscopic scale due to its slow conduction velocity and the presence of triggers, making it possible to examine re-entry at the cellular level. We therefore investigated the re-entry cores in cell monolayers through the use of fluorescence optical mapping at high spatiotemporal resolution in order to obtain insights into the mechanisms of re-entry. Re-entries in HL1-6 myocytes required at least two triggers and a minimum colony area to initiate (3.5 to 6.4 mm2). After electrical activity was completely stopped and re-started by varying the extracellular K+ concentration, re-entries never returned to the same location while 35% of triggers re-appeared at the same position. A conduction delay algorithm also allows visualisation of the core of the re-entries. This work has revealed that the core of re-entries is conduction blocks constituted by lines and/or groups of cells rather than the round area assumed by the other concepts of functional re-entry. This highlights the importance of experimentation at the microscopic level in the study of re-entry mechanisms
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