Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation by Using Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase Pump Overexpression in a Rabbit Model of Rapid Atrial Pacing
Hong li Wang, Xian hui Zhou, Zhi qiang Li, Ping Fan, Qi na Zhou, Yao dong Li, Yue mei Hou, Bao peng Tang
Clinical Medical Research Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China (mainland)
Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:3952-3960
Recent research suggests that abnormal Ca2+ handling plays a role in the occurrence and maintenance of atrial fibrillation (AF). Therefore, Ca2+ release and ingestion depend on properties of the ryanodine receptor (RyR) and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ATPase2a (SERCA2a). This study aimed to detect whether SERCA2a gene overexpression has a preventive effect on atrial fibrillation caused by rapid pacing right atrium.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-eight New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into a control group, AF group, AAV9/GFP group, and AAV9/SERCA2a group. The right atrium was rapidly paced at 600 beats/min for 30 days after an intraperitoneal injection of an adeno-associated virus expressing the SERCA2a gene and GFP. The AF induction rate and the effective refraction period (ERP) were measured after 0, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h of pacing. Western blot analysis was used to test for the expression of SERCA2a. Changes in atrial tissue structure were observed by H&E staining and electron microscopy.
RESULTS: The AF induction rate was higher in the AF groups than in the AAV9/SERCA2a group at different time points of pacing. After 12 h of pacing, ERP was significantly prolonged in the AAV9/SERCA2a group compared to the AF and AAV9/GFP groups (p<0.05). SERCA2a protein expression was significantly lower in the AF and AAV9/GFP groups compared to the control group (p<0.05), while expression was significantly higher in the AAV9/SERCA2a group than in the AF and AAV9/GFP groups (p<0.05). The myocardial structure of the AAV9/SERCA2a group was significantly improved compared with the AF group, indicating that SERCA2a overexpression relieved the structural remodeling of atrial fibrillation.
CONCLUSIONS: SERCA2a overexpression is capable of suppressing ERP shortening and AF induced by rapid pacing atrium. SERCA2a gene therapy is expected to be a new anti-atrial fibrillation strategy.
Keywords: Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial Remodeling, Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases