Cardiac pacemaking generation and modulation rely on the coordinated activity of several processes. Although a wealth of evidence indicates a relevant role of the If ("funny," or pacemaker) current, whose molecular constituents are the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels and particularly HCN4, work with mice where Hcn genes were knocked out, or functionally modified, has challenged this view. However, no previous studies used a cardiac-specific promoter to induce HCN4 ablation in adult mice. We report here that, in an inducible and cardiac-specific HCN4 knockout (ciHCN4-KO) mouse model, ablation of HCN4 consistently leads to progressive development of severe bradycardia (similar to 50% reduction of original rate) and AV block, eventually leading to heart arrest and death in about 5 d. In vitro analysis of sinoatrial node (SAN) myocytes isolated from ciHCN4-KO mice at the mean time of death revealed a strong reduction of both the If current (by similar to 70%) and of the spontaneous rate (by similar to 60%). In agreement with functional results, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis showed reduced expression of HCN4 protein in SAN tissue and cells. In ciHCN4-KO animals, the residual I(f) was normally sensitive to beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) modulation, and the permanence of rate response to beta-AR stimulation was observed both in vivo and in vitro. Our data show that cardiac HCN4 channels are essential for normal heart impulse generation and conduction in adult mice and support the notion that dysfunctional HCN4 channels can be a direct cause of rhythm disorders. This work contributes to identifying the molecular mechanism responsible for cardiac pacemaking.

Deep bradycardia and heart block caused by inducible cardiac-specific knockout of the pacemaker channel gene Hcn4 / M. Baruscotti, A. Bucchi, C. Viscomi, G. Mandelli, G. Consalez, T. Gnecchi-Rusconi, N. Montano, K. Rabello Casali, S. Micheloni, A. Barbuti, D. Di Francesco. - In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. - ISSN 0027-8424. - 108:4(2011), pp. 1705-1710.

Deep bradycardia and heart block caused by inducible cardiac-specific knockout of the pacemaker channel gene Hcn4

M. Baruscotti
Primo
;
A. Bucchi
Secondo
;
N. Montano;A. Barbuti
Penultimo
;
D. Di Francesco
Ultimo
2011

Abstract

Cardiac pacemaking generation and modulation rely on the coordinated activity of several processes. Although a wealth of evidence indicates a relevant role of the If ("funny," or pacemaker) current, whose molecular constituents are the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels and particularly HCN4, work with mice where Hcn genes were knocked out, or functionally modified, has challenged this view. However, no previous studies used a cardiac-specific promoter to induce HCN4 ablation in adult mice. We report here that, in an inducible and cardiac-specific HCN4 knockout (ciHCN4-KO) mouse model, ablation of HCN4 consistently leads to progressive development of severe bradycardia (similar to 50% reduction of original rate) and AV block, eventually leading to heart arrest and death in about 5 d. In vitro analysis of sinoatrial node (SAN) myocytes isolated from ciHCN4-KO mice at the mean time of death revealed a strong reduction of both the If current (by similar to 70%) and of the spontaneous rate (by similar to 60%). In agreement with functional results, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis showed reduced expression of HCN4 protein in SAN tissue and cells. In ciHCN4-KO animals, the residual I(f) was normally sensitive to beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) modulation, and the permanence of rate response to beta-AR stimulation was observed both in vivo and in vitro. Our data show that cardiac HCN4 channels are essential for normal heart impulse generation and conduction in adult mice and support the notion that dysfunctional HCN4 channels can be a direct cause of rhythm disorders. This work contributes to identifying the molecular mechanism responsible for cardiac pacemaking.
funny current; heart rate; sinoatrial node; atrioventricular node; chronotropism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/171158
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