Abstract 1352: Gender Differences In Cardiac Repolarization In Transgenic Long QT Syndrome 2 (LQT2) Rabbits
Introduction: Adult women with LQT2 are at higher risk for clinical events and sudden cardiac death (SCD) than men. We have created transgenic rabbits over-expressing pore mutants of the human KvLQT1 (LQT1) and HERG (LQT2) selectively in the heart. We report the gender differences in cardiac repolarization, incidence of polymorphic VT and SCD in these cohorts.
Methods: Adult female and male LQT1, LQT2, and littermate controls (ages 5 to 33 mo were similar in f/m, LQT2 were younger due to higher mortality) underwent telemetric ECG monitoring, surface ECG and in vivo electrophysiological studies under general anaesthesia with isoflurane (2–5%).
Results: Monitoring data showed a steeper QT/RR slope in female (0.745 ± 0.05, n=4) than in male (0.513 ± 0.06, n=9; p<0.05) LQT2 rabbits. No significant gender differences were observed in QT/RR slopes in either LQT1 or WT rabbits. QT-, QTpeak-index and Tp-e were significantly longer in female than in male LQT2 rabbits (females, n=6: QT: 129.2% ± 3.9; QTp: 105.9% ± 2.1; Tp-e: 42.9ms ± 4.1 vs. males, n=8: QT: 117.5% ± 4.3; p<0.05; QTp: 93.5% ± 5.6, p<0.05; Tp-e: 29.5ms ± 2.9, p<0.02). EP studies revealed significantly longer atrial (AERP) and ventricular (VERP) refractory periods in LQT2 females compared to males (females, n=4: AERP: 143.3 ± 5.8 ms; VERP: 212.5 ± 22.2 ms vs. males, n=8: AERP: 102.5 ± 7.7 ms, p<0.01; VERP: 178.1 ± 7.8 ms, p<0.05). AERP and VERP were significantly longer in LQT2 females than in LQT1 females (LQT1 females, n=7: AERP: 101.4 ± 7.7 ms, p<0.01, VERP: 156.9 ± 6.2, p<0.001), whereas in male LQT rabbits this genotype difference was only found in VERP but not in AERP. Survival was significantly shorter in female LQT2 rabbits compared to LQT1 or WT controls, with 4 sudden deaths among 10 LQT2, 1 among 19 WT and no SCD in 13 LQT1 females (p<0.02). No gender difference was observed in mortality. All cases of SCD occurred after sexual maturation and two LQT2 females died during lactation. Monitoring revealed the cause of SCD was polymorphic VT.
Conclusions: Monitoring of LQT rabbits reveal gender differences in LQT2 rabbits. QT/RR slope is steeper in female than in male adult LQT2 rabbits. AERP and VERP are longer in LQT2 females than in males. Finally, in LQT2 females, SCD was associated with lactation, but not pregnancy.