[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) gene therapy improves mechanical function in heart failure and is under evaluation in a clinical trial. A critical question is whether SERCA2a gene therapy predisposes to increased sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium (SR Ca(2+)) leak, cellular triggered activity, and ventricular arrhythmias in the failing heart.
We studied the influence of SERCA2a gene therapy on ventricular arrhythmogenesis in a rat chronic heart failure model. ECG telemetry studies revealed a significant antiarrhythmic effect of SERCA2a gene therapy with reduction of both spontaneous and catecholamine-induced arrhythmias in vivo. SERCA2a gene therapy also reduced susceptibility to reentry arrhythmias in ex vivo programmed electrical stimulation studies. Subcellular Ca(2+) homeostasis and spontaneous SR Ca(2+) leak characteristics were measured in failing cardiomyocytes transfected in vivo with a novel AAV9.SERCA2a vector. SR Ca(2+) leak was reduced after SERCA2a gene therapy, with reversal of the greater spark mass observed in the failing myocytes, despite normalization of SR Ca(2+) load. SERCA2a reduced ryanodine receptor phosphorylation, thereby resetting SR Ca(2+) leak threshold, leading to reduced triggered activity in vitro. Both indirect effects of reverse remodeling and direct SERCA2a effects appear to underlie the antiarrhythmic action.
SERCA2a gene therapy stabilizes SR Ca(2+) load, reduces ryanodine receptor phosphorylation and decreases SR Ca(2+) leak, and reduces cellular triggered activity in vitro and spontaneous and catecholamine-induced ventricular arrhythmias in vivo in failing hearts. SERCA2a gene therapy did not therefore predispose to arrhythmias and may represent a novel antiarrhythmic strategy in heart failure.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-tubular invaginations of the sarcolemma of ventricular cardiomyocytes contain junctional structures functionally coupling L-type calcium channels to the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-release channels (the ryanodine receptors), and therefore their configuration controls the gain of calcium-induced calcium release (CICR). Studies primarily in rodent myocardium have shown the importance of T-tubular structures for calcium transient kinetics and have linked T-tubule disruption to delayed CICR. However, there is disagreement as to the nature of T-tubule changes in human heart failure. We studied isolated ventricular myocytes from patients with ischemic heart disease, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and determined T-tubule structure with either the fluorescent membrane dye di-8-ANNEPs or the scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM). The SICM uses a scanning pipette to produce a topographic representation of the surface of the live cell by a non-optical method. We have also compared ventricular myocytes from a rat model of chronic heart failure after myocardial infarction. T-tubule loss, shown by both ANNEPs staining and SICM imaging, was pronounced in human myocytes from all etiologies of disease. SICM imaging showed additional changes in surface structure, with flattening and loss of Z-groove definition common to all etiologies. Rat myocytes from the chronic heart failure model also showed both T-tubule and Z-groove loss, as well as increased spark frequency and greater spark amplitude. This study confirms the loss of T-tubules as part of the phenotypic change in the failing human myocyte, but it also shows that this is part of a wider spectrum of alterations in surface morphology.
Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to compare the functional and structural properties of the motor protein, myosin, and isolated myocyte contractility in heart muscle excised from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients by surgical myectomy with explanted failing heart and non-failing donor heart muscle.
Myosin was isolated and studied using an in vitro motility assay. The distribution of myosin light chain-1 isoforms was measured by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Myosin light chain-2 phosphorylation was measured by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis using Pro-Q Diamond phosphoprotein stain.
The fraction of actin filaments moving when powered by myectomy myosin was 21% less than with donor myosin (P = 0.006), whereas the sliding speed was not different (0.310 +/- 0.034 for myectomy myosin vs. 0.305 +/- 0.019 microm/s for donor myosin in six paired experiments). Failing heart myosin showed 18% reduced motility. One myectomy myosin sample produced a consistently higher sliding speed than donor heart myosin and was identified with a disease-causing heavy chain mutation (V606M). In myectomy myosin, the level of atrial light chain-1 relative to ventricular light chain-1 was 20 +/- 5% compared with 11 +/- 5% in donor heart myosin and the level of myosin light chain-2 phosphorylation was decreased by 30-45%. Isolated cardiomyocytes showed reduced contraction amplitude (1.61 +/- 0.25 vs. 3.58 +/- 0.40%) and reduced relaxation rates compared with donor myocytes (TT(50%) = 0.32 +/- 0.09 vs. 0.17 +/- 0.02 s).
Contractility in myectomy samples resembles the hypocontractile phenotype found in end-stage failing heart muscle irrespective of the primary stimulus, and this phenotype is not a direct effect of the hypertrophy-inducing mutation. The presence of a myosin heavy chain mutation causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be predicted from a simple functional assay.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Cardiovascular Research