Effects of calcium channel blockers on calcium uptake in rat aortic valve allografts.
BACKGROUND The life span of human aortic valve allografts is finite, and many fail because of cusp rupture or calcification. Subcellular changes occurring in aortic valves in response to transplantation include the uptake of calcium. This study uses a heterotropic rat aortic valve transplant model to determine whether the calcium channel blockers diltiazem and verapamil might attenuate leaflet calcification.
METHODS AND RESULTS The 60 rats studied were divided into the following groups: 1) control: valves from normal, unoperated F1 generation of Lewis and Brown Norway cross (LBNF1) rats; 2) control: valves from syngeneic transplant combinations (Lewis/Lewis); 3) control: valves from allogeneic transplant combinations (LBNF1/Lewis, donor/recipient); 4) experimental: valves from allogeneic strain combinations treated with 30 mg/kg per day diltiazem; 5) experimental: valves from allogeneic strain combinations treated with 30 mg/kg per day verapamil. Drugs or saline (controls) were administered with osmotic pumps placed subcutaneously 2 days before transplantation. Animals were killed 3 weeks later, and the valves were harvested and prepared for calcium analysis. Energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis was used to measure the calcium in a section of one leaflet from each valve studied. Paired t tests showed that allograft valves treated with diltiazem or verapamil contained significantly less calcium than allograft controls treated with saline (p < 0.001). When all five groups were subjected to one-way ANOVA, the valves in the allograft control group contained significantly more calcium than all other groups. All other groups were not different from each other.
CONCLUSIONS The calcium channel blockers verapamil and diltiazem were effective in preventing early calcification that occurs in aortic valves after transplantation. Thus, these agents might play a role in prolonging the life of human aortic valve allografts.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association