Effects of ageing on pro-arrhythmic ventricular phenotypes in incrementally paced murine Pgc1β-/- hearts

03 Oct 2017

A range of chronic clinical conditions accompany cardiomyocyte energetic dysfunction and constitute independent risk factors for cardiac arrhythmia. We investigated pro-arrhythmic and arrhythmic phenotypes in energetically deficient C57BL mice with genetic ablation of the mitochondrial promoter peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator-1β (Pgc-1β), a known model of ventricular arrhythmia. Pro-arrhythmic and cellular action potential (AP) characteristics were compared in intact Langendorff-perfused hearts from young (12-16 week) and aged (>52 week), WT and Pgc-1β-/- mice. Simultaneous electrocardiographic and intracellular microelectrode recordings were made through successive trains of 100 regular stimuli at progressively incremented heart rates. Aged Pgc-1β-/- hearts displayed an increased incidence of arrhythmia compared to other groups. Young and aged Pgc-1β-/- hearts showed higher incidences of alternans in both AP activation (maximum AP upshoot velocity (dV/dt)max and latency), recovery (action potential duration (APD90) and resting membrane potential (RMP)) characteristics compared to WT hearts. This was particularly apparent at lower pacing frequencies. These findings accompanied reduced (dV/dt)max and increased AP latency values in the Pgc-1β-/- hearts. APs observed prior to termination of the protocol showed lower (dV/dt)max and longer AP latencies, but indistinguishable APD90 and RMPs in arrhythmic compared to non-arrhythmic hearts. APD restitution analysis showed that Pgc-1β-/- and WT hearts showed similar limiting gradients. However, Pgc-1β-/- hearts had shortened plateau AP wavelengths, particularly in aged Pgc-1β-/- hearts. Pgc-1β-/- hearts therefore show pro-arrhythmic instabilities attributable to altered AP conduction and activation rather than recovery characteristics.