Rescue and worsening of congenital heart block-associated electrocardiographic abnormalities in two transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT Congenital heart block (CHB) is a passively acquired autoimmune disease considered to be due to the transfer of maternal autoantibodies, anti-SSA/Ro -SSB/La, to the fetus resulting in atrioventricular (AV) block and sinus bradycardia. We previously established a murine model for CHB where pups born to immunized wild-type (WT) mothers exhibited electrocardiographic abnormalities similar to those seen in CHB and demonstrated inhibition of L-type Ca channels (LTCCs) by maternal antibodies. Here, we hypothesize that overexpression of LTCC should rescue, whereas knockout of LTCC should worsen the electrocardiographic abnormalities in mice.
Transgenic (TG) mice were immunized with SSA/Ro and SSB/La antigens. Pups born to immunized WT mothers had significantly greater sinus bradycardia and AV block compared to pups from nonimmunized WT. TG pups overexpressing LTCC had significantly less sinus bradycardia and AV block compared to their non-TG littermates and to pups born to immunized WT mothers. All LTCC knockout pups born to immunized mothers had sinus bradycardia, advanced degree of AV block, and decreased fetal parity. No sinus bradycardia or AV block were manifested in pups from control nonimmunized WT mothers. IgG from mothers with CHB children, but not normal IgG, completely inhibited intracellular Ca transient ([Ca](i)T) amplitude.
Cardiac-specific overexpression of LTCC significantly reduced the incidence of AV block and sinus bradycardia in pups exposed to anti-SSA/Ro -SSB/La autoantibodies, whereas exposure of LTCC knockout pups to these autoantibodies significantly worsened the electrocardiographic abnormalities. These findings support the hypothesis that maternal antibodies inhibit LTCC and [Ca](i)T thus contributing to the development of CHB. Altogether, the results are relevant to the development of novel therapies for CHB.
Article: Epidemiology, etiology, detection, and treatment of autoantibody-associated congenital heart block in neonatal lupus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neonatal lupus syndrome is a model of passively acquired autoimmunity in which the pregnant woman's serum contains specific antibodies to 52 or 60 kd SSA/Ro and/or 48 kd SSB/La, which cross the placenta and are associated with the development of congenital heart block in the fetus and/or a transient rash or various liver and blood cell abnormalities in the newborn. To date, congenital heart block is a permanent condition that entails significant morbidity and mortality, with nearly all affected infants requiring pacemakers and with an 80% cumulative probability of survival at 3 years of age. An intensive search is on for the specific etiopathophysiology and for new clinical tools to approach and treat this disease.Current Rheumatology Reports 06/2007; 9(2):101-8.