Abstract 16515: Differential Functions of HCN1 and HCN4 Pacemaker Channels Within the Sinoatrial Node for the Stable and Precise Beating of the Heart
The heart beat is initiated by the generation of spontaneous action potentials in pacemaker cells of the sinoatrial node (SAN) region. The maintenance of a stable heart beat requires mechanisms which protect the SAN pacemaker cells from potential perturbing influences which arise from inside and outside the sinoatrial network. Our previous work suggests that the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated channel subtype 1 (HCN1) protects against such perturbations and thereby increases the stability, the precision and the safety of the sinoatrial network. Here, we investigate the role of HCN4 channels within this context. Using genetic mouse models deficient for HCN channels as well as mouse models expressing engineered HCN channels, we performed a detailed functional characterization of pacemaker mechanisms in single isolated sinoatrial node cells, explanted beating sinoatrial node preparations, with telemetric in vivo electrocardiography, echocardiography, and in vivo electrophysiology. We provide evidence that HCN4 has a critical role in counteracting and balancing potentially destabilizing effects of the autonomic nervous system on the regulation of the heart rate. Specifically, HCN4 channels smooth the transition of the heart rate to a new equilibrium. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the cAMP- dependent fine tuning of HCN4 channel activity could provide the exact dosage of current to balance and counteract overshooting responses of the heart rate to autonomic regulation. In the absence of such a protecting effect, mice display a brady- tachy syndrome.
Author Disclosures: S. Fenske: None. V. Marks: None. S. Koenigsbauer: None. S.I. Hassan: None. T. Ziegler: None. C. Kupatt: None. B. Martin: None. C.A. Wahl-Schott: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.