Action potentials (APs), via the transverse axial tubular system (TATS), synchronously trigger uniform Ca(2+) release throughout the cardiomyocyte. In heart failure (HF), TATS structural remodeling occurs, leading to asynchronous Ca(2+) release across the myocyte and contributing to contractile dysfunction. In cardiomyocytes from failing rat hearts, we previously documented the presence of TATS elements which failed to propagate AP and displayed spontaneous electrical activity; the consequence for Ca(2+) release remained, however, unsolved. Here, we develop an imaging method to simultaneously assess TATS electrical activity and local Ca(2+) release. In HF cardiomyocytes, sites where T-tubules fail to conduct AP show a slower and reduced local Ca(2+) transient compared with regions with electrically coupled elements. It is concluded that TATS electrical remodeling is a major determinant of altered kinetics, amplitude, and homogeneity of Ca(2+) release in HF. Moreover, spontaneous depolarization events occurring in failing T-tubules can trigger local Ca(2+) release, resulting in Ca(2+) sparks. The occurrence of tubule-driven depolarizations and Ca(2+) sparks may contribute to the arrhythmic burden in heart failure.
Action potential-driven Ca(2+) currents from the transverse tubules (t-tubules) trigger synchronous Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum of cardiomyocytes. Loss of t-tubules has been reported in cardiac diseases, including heart failure, but the effect of uncoupling t-tubules from the sarcolemma on cardiac muscle mechanics remains largely unknown. We dissected intact rat right ventricular trabeculae and compared force, sarcomere length, and intracellular Ca(2+) in control trabeculae with trabeculae in which the t-tubules were uncoupled from the plasma membrane by formamide-induced osmotic shock (detubulation). We verified disconnection of a consistent fraction of t-tubules from the sarcolemma by two-photon fluorescence imaging of FM4-64-labeled membranes and by the absence of tubular action potential, which was recorded by random access multiphoton microscopy in combination with a voltage-sensitive dye (Di-4-AN(F)EPPTEA). Detubulation reduced the amplitude and prolonged the duration of Ca(2+) transients, leading to slower kinetics of force generation and relaxation and reduced twitch tension (1 Hz, 30°C, 1.5 mM [Ca(2+)]o). No mechanical changes were observed in rat left atrial trabeculae after formamide shock, consistent with the lack of t-tubules in rodent atrial myocytes. Detubulation diminished the rate-dependent increase of Ca(2+)-transient amplitude and twitch force. However, maximal twitch tension at high [Ca(2+)]o or in post-rest potentiated beats was unaffected, although contraction kinetics were slower. The ryanodine receptor (RyR)2 Ca-sensitizing agent caffeine (200 µM), which increases the velocity of transverse Ca(2+) release propagation in detubulated cardiomyocytes, rescued the depressed contractile force and the slower twitch kinetics of detubulated trabeculae, with negligible effects in controls. We conclude that partial loss of t-tubules leads to myocardial contractile abnormalities that can be rescued by enhancing and accelerating the propagation of Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release to orphan RyR2 clusters.
Advances in the development of voltage sensitive dyes and Ca(2+) sensors in combination with innovative microscopy techniques allowed researchers to perform functional measurements with an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. At the moment, one of the shortcomings of available technologies is their incapability of imaging multiple fast phenomena while controlling the biological determinants involved. In the near future, ultrafast deflectors can be used to rapidly scan laser beams across the sample, performing optical measurements of action potential and Ca(2+) release from multiple sites within cardiac cells and tissues. The same scanning modality could also be used to control local Ca(2+) release and membrane electrical activity by activation of caged compounds and light-gated ion channels. With this approach, local Ca(2+) or voltage perturbations could be induced, simulating arrhythmogenic events, and their impact on physiological cell activity could be explored. The development of this optical methodology will provide fundamental insights in cardiac disease, boosting new therapeutic strategies, and, more generally, it will represent a new approach for the investigation of the physiology of excitable cells.
Progressive heart failure associated with left ventricular remodeling and systo-diastolic dysfunction is one of the most severe complications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Such condition, for the lack of a better term, is referred to as end-stage (ES) HCM. During the last decade, we have begun to understand the mechanisms underlying progression from a hyperdynamic left ventricle to the striking patterns of ES. To date, different aspects of HCM progression remain obscure, including potential strategies for management and prevention. On the basis of recent evidence, it is appropriate to emphasize these aspects, which may be difficult to identify, particularly in the early stages when systolic function appears relatively preserved. Nevertheless, it is at these early stages that treatment may potentially interfere with the clinical evolution of HCM toward ES and heart failure. The possibility of early identification of patients at risk of ES progression may ultimately impact on the natural history of the disease in this challenging patient subgroup.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) was the first inherited heart disease to be characterized at the molecular genetic level with the demonstration that it is caused by mutations in genes that encode different components of the cardiac sarcomere. Early functional in vitro studies have concluded that HCM mutations cause a loss of sarcomere mechanical function. Hypertrophy would then follow as a compensatory mechanism to raise the work and power output of the affected heart. More recent in vitro and mouse model studies have suggested that HCM mutations enhance contractile function and myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity and impair cardiac myocyte energetics. It has been hypothesized that these changes may result in cardiac myocyte energy depletion due to inefficient ATP utilization and also in altered myoplasmic Ca(2+) handling. The problems encountered in reaching a definitive answer on the effects of HCM mutations are discussed. Though direct analysis of the altered functional characteristics of HCM human cardiac sarcomeres has so far lagged behind the in vitro and mouse studies, recent work with mechanically isolated skinned myocytes and myofibrils from affected human hearts seem to support the energy depletion hypothesis. If further validated in the human heart, this hypothesis would identify tractable therapeutic targets that suggest that HCM, perhaps more than any other cardiomyopathy, will be amenable to disease-modifying therapy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common mendelian heart disorder, remains an orphan of disease-specific pharmacological treatment because of the limited understanding of cellular mechanisms underlying arrhythmogenicity and diastolic dysfunction.
Whether treatment with ? blockers (BBs) is of benefit to patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC) and provocable outflow obstruction (with none or with only mild heart failure symptoms) is largely unresolved. Thus, we prospectively studied 27 patients with HC (age 36 ± 15 years; 81% men) with New York Heart Association class I or II, without obstruction at rest, but with exercise-induced left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) gradient of ? 30 mm Hg. Patients underwent exercise echocardiography at baseline and after treatment with nadolol (n = 18; 40 to 80 mg/day) or bisoprolol (n = 9; 5 to 10 mg/day), according to a prespecified protocol. Without the BBs, the postexercise LVOT gradient was 87 ± 29 mm Hg and >50 mm Hg in 25 patients (93%). After a 12 ± 4-month period of BB treatment, the postexercise LVOT gradient had decreased to 36 ± 22 mm Hg (p <0.001) and was virtually abolished (to 0 or <30 mm Hg) in 14 patients (52%), substantially blunted (? 20 mm Hg reduction) in 9 (33%), and unchanged in only 4 (15%). Severe postexercise obstruction (range 58 to 80 mm Hg) persisted in 6 patients (22% compared to 93% without BBs; p <0.001). Nonresponders (residual postexercise gradient of ? 30 mm Hg with BBs) were characterized by an increased body mass index (hazard ratio 2.03/1 kg/m(2), 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 3.4; p <0.05). In conclusion, in patients with HC with mild or no symptoms, treatment with BBs can prevent the development of LVOT obstruction triggered by physiologic exercise. These findings provide a rationale for the novel strategy of early prophylactic pharmacologic treatment with standard, well-tolerated doses of BBs in physically active patients with provocable gradients, aimed at effective prevention of the hemodynamic burden associated with dynamic obstruction.
The management of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and refractory symptoms due to massive hypertrophy and severe diastolic dysfunction represents a real challenge for the clinical cardiologist. Such patients often require novel therapeutic approaches, both invasive and pharmacological, involving multidisciplinary teamwork; however, the implementation of potentially viable treatment options is hindered by lack of disease-specific evidence. We report the case of a young woman with severe HCM and restrictive physiology, who underwent extensive myectomy via the transaortic and transapical approach, followed by biventricular pacing for cardiac resynchronization, with significant but incomplete symptomatic improvement. The subsequent introduction of ranolazine, based on promising preclinical data, has led to an excellent final result. An ongoing randomized clinical trial is currently testing the efficacy of ranolazine in symptomatic HCM.
The plasma membrane of cardiac myocytes presents complex invaginations known as the transverse-axial tubular system (TATS). Despite TATSs crucial role in excitation-contraction coupling and morphological alterations found in pathological settings, TATSs electrical activity has never been directly investigated in remodeled tubular networks. Here we develop an ultrafast random access multiphoton microscope that, in combination with a customly synthesized voltage-sensitive dye, is used to simultaneously measure action potentials (APs) at multiple sites within the sarcolemma with submillisecond temporal and submicrometer spatial resolution in real time. We find that the tight electrical coupling between different sarcolemmal domains is guaranteed only within an intact tubular system. In fact, acute detachment by osmotic shock of most tubules from the surface sarcolemma prevents AP propagation not only in the disconnected tubules, but also in some of the tubules that remain connected with the surface. This indicates that a structural disorganization of the tubular system worsens the electrical coupling between the TATS and the surface. The pathological implications of this finding are investigated in failing hearts. We find that AP propagation into the pathologically remodeled TATS frequently fails and may be followed by local spontaneous electrical activity. Our findings provide insight on the relationship between abnormal TATS and asynchronous calcium release, a major determinant of cardiac contractile dysfunction and arrhythmias.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.