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Available from: Cevher Ozcan, Jan 09, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complex disease process, and the molecular mechanisms underlying initiation and progression of the disease are unclear. Consequently, AF has been difficult to model. In this study, we have presented a novel transgenic mouse model of AF that mimics human disease and characterized the mechanisms of atrial electroanatomical remodeling in the genesis of AF. Cardiac-specific liver kinase B1 (LKB1) knockout (KO) mice were generated, and 47% aged 4 weeks and 95% aged 12 weeks developed spontaneous AF from sinus rhythm by demonstrating paroxysmal and persistent stages of the disease. Electrocardiographic characteristics of sinus rhythm were similar in KO and wild-type mice. Atrioventricular block and atrial flutter were common in KO mice. Heart rate was slower with persistent AF. In parallel with AF, KO mice developed progressive biatrial enlargement with inflammation, heterogeneous fibrosis, and loss of cardiomyocyte population with apoptosis and necrosis. Atrial tissue was infiltrated with inflammatory cells. C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor α were significantly elevated in serum. KO atria demonstrated elevated reactive oxygen species and decreased AMP-activated protein kinase activity. Cardiomyocyte and myofibrillar ultrastructure were disrupted. Intercellular matrix and gap junction were interrupted. Connexins 40 and 43 were reduced. Persistent AF caused left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. Survival and exercise capacity were worse in KO mice. LKB1 KO mice develop spontaneous AF from sinus rhythm and progress into persistent AF by replicating the human AF disease process. Progressive inflammatory atrial cardiomyopathy is the genesis of AF, through mechanistic electrical and structural remodeling. © 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
    Journal of the American Heart Association 02/2015; 4(3). DOI:10.1161/JAHA.114.001733 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intergenic variations on chromosome 4q25, close to the PITX2 transcription factor gene, are associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). We therefore tested whether adult hearts express PITX2 and whether variation in expression affects cardiac function. mRNA for PITX2 isoform c was expressed in left atria of human and mouse, with levels in right atrium and left and right ventricles being 100-fold lower. In mice heterozygous for Pitx2c (Pitx2c(+/-)), left atrial Pitx2c expression was 60% of wild-type and cardiac morphology and function were not altered, except for slightly elevated pulmonary flow velocity. Isolated Pitx2c(+/-) hearts were susceptible to AF during programmed stimulation. At short paced cycle lengths, atrial action potential durations were shorter in Pitx2c(+/-) than in wild-type. Perfusion with the β-receptor agonist orciprenaline abolished inducibility of AF and reduced the effect on action potential duration. Spontaneous heart rates, atrial conduction velocities, and activation patterns were not affected in Pitx2c(+/-) hearts, suggesting that action potential duration shortening caused wave length reduction and inducibility of AF. Expression array analyses comparing Pitx2c(+/-) with wild-type, for left atrial and right atrial tissue separately, identified genes related to calcium ion binding, gap and tight junctions, ion channels, and melanogenesis as being affected by the reduced expression of Pitx2c. These findings demonstrate a physiological role for PITX2 in the adult heart and support the hypothesis that dysregulation of PITX2 expression can be responsible for susceptibility to AF.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics 04/2011; 4(2):123-33. DOI:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.110.958058 · 5.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim was to assess atrial fibrillation (AF) and vulnerability in Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome patients using two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE).
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e108315. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108315 · 3.53 Impact Factor