Remodeling in Cells From Different Regions of the Reentrant Circuit During Ventricular Tachycardia
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Background— Anisotropic reentrant excitation occurs in the remodeled substrate of the epicardial border zone (EBZ) of the 5-day infarcted canine heart. Reentry is stabilized because of the formation of functional lines of block. We hypothesized that regional differences of ionic currents in cells of the EBZ form these lines of block. Therefore, we first mapped reentrant circuits of sustained tachycardias, then dispersed cells (infarct zone cells, IZs) from the central common pathway of the circuit (IZc) as well as from the other side of the line of block (outer pathway, IZo) for study.
Methods and Results— We mapped reentrant circuits in the EBZ of infarcted hearts during sustained ventricular tachycardias (>30 seconds, n=17 episodes, cycle lengths=218±7.9 ms). INa density was reduced in both IZc and IZo, and the kinetic properties of IZc INa were markedly altered versus IZo. Structural remodeling of the sodium channel protein Nav1.5 occurred in IZs, with cell surface localization differing from normal cells. Both IZc and IZo have similar but reduced ICaL, whereas IZc showed changes in Ca2+ current kinetics with an acceleration of current decay. Computer simulations of the 2D EBZ showed that incorporating only differences between INa in IZc and IZo prevented stability of the reentrant circuit. Incorporating only differences between ICaL in the IZc and IZo cells also prevented stability of the circuit. However, incorporating both INa and ICaL current differences stabilized the simulated reentrant circuit, and lines of block formed between the 2 distinct regions.
Conclusions— Despite differences in INa and ICaL properties in cells of the center and outer pathways of a reentrant circuit, the resulting changes in effective refractory periods tend to stabilize reentry in this remodeled substrate.
Received January 7, 2005; revision received July 22, 2005; accepted July 25, 2005.