BACKGROUND - Altered conduction is associated with increased atrial fibrillation (AF) vulnerability in canine models of chronic mitral regurgitation (MR) and heart failure (HF). Rotigaptide (ZP123) augments gap junction conductance, improving cell-to-cell coupling. We studied the effects of rotigaptide on atrial conduction and AF vulnerability in the canine MR and HF models. METHODS AND RESULTS - Twenty-one dogs in 3 groups were studied: control (n=7), chronic MR induced by mitral avulsion (n=7), and HF induced by ventricular tachypacing (n=7). Epicardial mapping of both atria was performed with a 512-electrode array at baseline and at increasing rotigaptide doses (10, 50, and 200 nmol/L). Conduction velocity increased in both atria in control animals and MR animals (maximum percentage increase: 24±5%, 38±6% [P<0.001, <0.001] in the left atrium and 19±9%, 18±3% [P<0.001, <0.001] in the right atrium). Conduction velocity did not change in the left atrium of the HF group and increased minimally in the right atrium (3±3%, 17±5% [P=NS, P=0.001]). AF duration was increased at baseline in MR and HF animals (control: 16±25 seconds, MR: 786±764 seconds, HF: 883±684 seconds; P=0.013). At 50 nmol/L of rotigaptide, duration of AF markedly decreased in the MR animals (96% reduction, P<0.001), reducing AF duration to that of control animals (control: 9±11 seconds, MR: 14±16 seconds, HF: 1622±355 seconds; P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS - Gap junction modulation with rotigaptide reduces AF vulnerability in a canine MR model of AF to a level similar to control animals but does not affect AF vulnerability in the canine HF model. This may be a novel therapeutic target in some forms of AF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)