Mouse Model of SCN5A-Linked Hereditary Lenègre’s Disease
Age-Related Conduction Slowing and Myocardial Fibrosis
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background— We have previously linked hereditary progressive cardiac conduction defect (hereditary Lenègre’s disease) to a loss-of-function mutation in the gene encoding the main cardiac Na+ channel, SCN5A. In the present study, we investigated heterozygous Scn5a-knockout mice (Scn5a+/− mice) as a model for hereditary Lenègre’s disease.
Methods and Results— In Scn5a+/− mice, surface ECG recordings showed age-related lengthening of the P-wave and PR- and QRS-interval duration, coinciding with previous observations in patients with Lenègre’s disease. Old but not young Scn5a+/− mice showed extensive fibrosis of their ventricular myocardium, a feature not seen in wild-type animals. In old Scn5a+/− mice, fibrosis was accompanied by heterogeneous expression of connexin 43 and upregulation of hypertrophic markers, including β-MHC and skeletal α-actin. Global connexin 43 expression as assessed with Western blots was similar to wild-type mice. Decreased connexin 40 expression was seen in the atria. Using pangenomic microarrays and real-time PCR, we identified in Scn5a+/− mice an age-related upregulation of genes encoding Atf3 and Egr1 transcription factors. Echocardiography and hemodynamic investigations demonstrated conserved cardiac function with aging and lack of ventricular hypertrophy.
Conclusions— We conclude that Scn5a+/− mice convincingly recapitulate the Lenègre’s disease phenotype, including progressive impairment with aging of atrial and ventricular conduction associated with myocardial rearrangements and fibrosis. Our work provides the first demonstration that a monogenic ion channel defect can progressively lead to myocardial structural anomalies.
Received September 21, 2004; revision received November 30, 2004; accepted December 1, 2004.