Optimising conditions for studying the acute effects of drugs on indices of cardiac contractility and on haemodynamics in anaesthetized guinea pigs

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G4 0RE, UK.
Journal of pharmacological and toxicological methods (Impact Factor: 2.39). 05/2012; 66(1):43-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.vascn.2012.05.008
Source: PubMed


Detecting adverse effects of drugs on cardiac contractility is becoming a priority in pre-clinical safety pharmacology. The aim of this work was to optimise conditions and explore the potential of using the anaesthetized guinea pig as an in vivo model.
Guinea pigs were anaesthetized with Hypnorm/Hypnovel, isoflurane, pentobarbital or fentanyl/pentobarbital. The electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, arterial blood pressure and indices of cardiac contractility were recorded. In further experiments in fentanyl/pentobarbital anaesthetized guinea pigs the influence of bilateral versus unilateral carotid artery occlusion on haemodynamic responses was investigated and the effects of inotropic drugs on left ventricular (LV) dP/dt(max) and the QA interval were determined.
Pentobarbital, given alone or after fentanyl, provided suitable anaesthesia for these experiments. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion did not alter heart rate or arterial blood pressure responses to isoprenaline or angiotensin II. Isoprenaline and ouabain increased LVdP/dt(max) and decreased the QA interval whereas verapamil had opposite effects and strong inverse correlations between LVdP/dt(max) and the QA interval were found.
Conditions can be optimised to allow the pentobarbital-anaesthetized guinea pig to be used for simultaneous measurement of the effects of drugs on the ECG, haemodynamics and indices of cardiac contractility. The use of this small animal model in early pre-clinical safety pharmacology should contribute to improvements in detecting unwanted actions on the heart during the drug development process.

11 Reads
  • Source
    Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 07/2011; 64(1). DOI:10.1016/j.vascn.2011.03.011 · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite rigorous preclinical and clinical safety evaluation, adverse cardiac effects remain a leading cause of drug attrition and post-approval drug withdrawal. A number of cardiovascular screens exist within preclinical development. These screens do not, however, provide a thorough cardiac liability profile and, in many cases, are not preventing the progression of high risk compounds. We evaluated the suitability of the anaesthetised guinea-pig for the assessment of drug-induced changes in cardiovascular parameters. Sodium pentobarbitone anaesthetised male guinea-pigs received three 15 minute intravenous infusions of ascending doses of amoxicillin, atenolol, clonidine, dobutamine, dofetilide, flecainide, isoprenaline, levosimendan, milrinone, moxifloxacin, nifedipine, paracetamol, verapamil or vehicle, followed by a 30 minute washout. Dose levels were targeted to cover clinical exposure and above, with plasma samples obtained to evaluate effect/exposure relationships. Arterial blood pressure, heart rate, contractility function (left ventricular dP/dt(max) and QA interval) and lead II electrocardiogram were recorded throughout. In general, the expected reference compound induced effects on haemodynamic, contractility and electrocardiographic parameters were detected confirming that all three endpoints can be measured accurately and simultaneously in one small animal. Plasma exposures obtained were within, or close to the expected clinical range of therapeutic plasma levels. Concentration-effect curves were produced which allowed a more complete understanding of the margins for effects at different plasma exposures. This single in vivo screen provides a significant amount of information pertaining to the cardiovascular risk of drug candidates, ultimately strengthening strategies addressing cardiovascular-mediated compound attrition and drug withdrawal.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 06/2012; 263(2):171-83. DOI:10.1016/j.taap.2012.06.007 · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Evaluation of drug-related effects on cardiovascular function is part of the core battery described in the ICH S7A guideline. Anesthetized guinea-pigs are excellent models for the evaluation of drug-induced prolongation of ventricular repolarization; however less information is available regarding other cardio-hemodynamic parameters in this model. The current study aimed to document cardio-hemodynamic responses in anesthetized guinea-pigs after administration of a number of reference drugs with known pharmacological actions. Methods: Experiments were carried out in closed chest pentobarbital anesthetized female guinea-pigs. Compounds were administered intravenously while arterial blood pressure, left ventricular pressure (LVP) and the electrocardiogram were measured continuously. The rate of LVP contraction (LV dP/dt(max)) was used to evaluate cardiac performance; and was compared to the QA interval; which has previously been proposed as an indirect measurement of cardiac function. Results: Baseline values for heart rate and blood pressure were lower in anesthetized animals compared to literature data of conscious guinea-pigs. Heart rate increased after administration of adrenaline, isoprenaline and salbutamol, but not after L-phenylephrine. Verapamil and amiodarone decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Zatebradine infusion led to a decrease in heart rate with minimal effects on blood pressure. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) caused a reduction in mean blood pressure at higher doses followed by reflex tachycardia. Both adrenaline and L-phenylephrine increased arterial blood pressure. Furthermore, adrenaline, isoprenaline and salbutamol increased LV dP/dt(max) and decreased the QA interval. L-phenylephrine increased LV dP/dt(max), but transiently prolonged the QA interval. Both verapamil and amiodarone decreased LV dP/dt(max) and prolonged the QA interval, whereas zatebradine did not affect this parameter. Discussion: In addition to its utility for the assessment of test compounds on ventricular repolarization the pentobarbital anesthetized guinea-pig model shows promise for early stage cardio-hemodynamic screening. Furthermore, the QA interval shows potential for prediction of adverse effects on cardiac contractility.
    Journal of pharmacological and toxicological methods 07/2012; 66(2):152-9. DOI:10.1016/j.vascn.2012.07.002 · 2.39 Impact Factor
Show more