Paradoxical Effect of Increased Diastolic Ca2+ Release and Decreased Sinoatrial Node Activity in a Mouse Model of Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
Background—Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) is characterized by stress-triggered syncope and sudden death. CPVT patients manifest sino-atrial node (SAN) dysfunction, the mechanisms of which remain unexplored.
Methods and Results—We investigated SAN [Ca2+]i handling in mice carrying the CPVT-linked mutation of ryanodine receptor (RyR2R4496C) and on their wild-type (WT) littermates. In vivo telemetric recordings showed impaired SAN automaticity in RyR2R4496C mice following Isoproterenol (ISO) injection, analogous to what was observed in CPVT patients after exercise. Pacemaker activity was explored by measuring spontaneous [Ca2+]i transients in SAN cells within the intact SAN by confocal microscopy. RyR2R4496C SAN presented significantly slower pacemaker activity and impaired chronotropic response under β-adrenergic stimulation, accompanied by the appearance of pauses (in spontaneous [Ca2+]i transients and action potentials) in 75% of the cases. Ca2+ spark frequency was increased by 2-fold in RyR2R4496C SAN. Whole-cell patch-clamp experiments performed on isolated RyR2R4496C SAN cells showed that L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) density was reduced by ~50%, an effect blunted with internal Ca2+ buffering. ISO dramatically increased the frequency of Ca2+ sparks and waves by ~5 and ~10-fold, respectively. Interestingly, the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content was significantly reduced in RyR2R4496C SAN cells in the presence of ISO, which may contribute to stopping the "Ca2+-clock" rhythm generation, originating SAN pauses.
Conclusions—The increased activity of RyR2R4496C in SAN leads to an unanticipated decrease on SAN automaticity by Ca2+-dependent decrease of ICa,L and SR Ca2+ depletion during diastole, identifying subcellular pathophysiologic alterations contributing to the SAN dysfunction in CPVT patients.
- catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia
- sinoatrial node
- L-type calcium current
- Received October 24, 2011.
- Accepted June 8, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited