Spatial gradients in action potential duration created by regional magnetofection of hERG are a substrate for wavebreak and turbulent propagation in cardiomyocyte monolayers

Autores UPV
Revista The Journal of Physiology


Abstract Spatial dispersion of action potential duration (APD) is a substrate for the maintenance of cardiac fibrillation, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We investigated the role played by spatial APD dispersion in fibrillatory dynamics. We used an in vitro model in which spatial gradients in the expression of ether-`a-go-go-related (hERG) protein, and thus rapid delayed rectifying K+ current (IKr) density, served to generate APD dispersion, high-frequency rotor formation, wavebreak and fibrillatory conduction. A unique adenovirus-mediated magnetofection technique generated well-controlled gradients in hERG and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in neonatal rat ventricularmyocytemonolayers. Computer simulations using a realistic neonatal rat ventricular myocyte monolayer model provided crucial insight into the underlying mechanisms. Regional hERG overexpression shortened APD and increased rotor incidence in the hERG overexpressing region. An APD profile at 75 percent repolarization with a 16.6±0.72 ms gradient followed the spatial profile of hERG-GFP expression; conduction velocity was not altered. Rotors in the infected region whose maximal dominant frequency was &#8805;12.9Hz resulted in wavebreak at the interface (border zone) between infected and non-infected regions; dominant frequency distribution was uniform when the maximal dominant frequency was <12.9Hz or the rotors resided in the uninfected region. Regularity at the border zone was lowest when rotors resided in the infected region. In simulations, a fivefold regional increase in IKr abbreviated the APD and hyperpolarized the resting potential. However, the steep APD gradient at the border zone proved to be the primary mechanism of wavebreak and fibrillatory conduction. This study provides insight at the molecular level into the mechanisms by which spatial APD dispersion contributes to wavebreak, rotor stabilization and fibrillatory conduction.