Background: Patients with inherited dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) frequently die with severe heart failure (HF) or die suddenly with arrhythmias, although these symptoms are not always observed at birth. It remains unclear how and when HF and arrhythmogenic changes develop in these DCM mutation carriers. In order to address this issue, properties of the myocardium and underlying gene expressions were studied using a knock-in mouse model of human inherited DCM caused by a deletion mutation ΔK210 in cardiac troponinT. Methodology/Principal Findings: By 1 month, DCM mice had already enlarged hearts, but showed no symptoms of HF and a much lower mortality than at 2 months or later. At around 2 months, some would die suddenly with no clear symptoms of HF, whereas at 3 months, many of the survivors showed evident symptoms of HF. In isolated left ventricular myocardium (LV) from 2 month-mice, spontaneous activity frequently occurred and action potential duration (APD) was prolonged. Transient outward (I to) and ultrarapid delayed rectifier K + (I Kur) currents were significantly reduced in DCM myocytes. Correspondingly, down-regulation of Kv4.2, Kv1.5 and KChIP2 was evident in mRNA and protein levels. In LVs at 3-months, more frequent spontaneous activity, greater prolongation of APD and further down-regulation in above K + channels were observed. At 1 month, in contrast, infrequent spontaneous activity and down-regulation of Kv4.2, but not Kv1.5 or KChIP2, were observed. Conclusions/Significance: Our results suggest that at least three steps of electrical remodeling occur in the hearts of DCM model mice, and that the combined down-regulation of Kv4.2, Kv1.5 and KChIP2 prior to the onset of HF may play an important role in the premature sudden death in this DCM model. DCM mice at 1 month or before, on the contrary, are associated with low risk of death in spite of inborn disorder and enlarged heart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)