Endothelin alters central sympathetic responses, but the resultant effects on arrhythmogenesis are unknown. We examined ventricular tachyarrhythmias after endothelin receptor-A blockade in the brain of Wistar rats with acute myocardial infarction.
For this aim, BQ-123 (n=6) or phosphate-buffered saline (n=6) were injected intracerebroventricularly. After 10 min, the left coronary artery was ligated, followed by implantation of telemetry transmitters. Electrocardiography and voluntary activity (as a surrogate of acute left ventricular failure) were continuously monitored for 24 h.
Infarct-size was similar in the two groups. There were fewer episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmias of shorter average duration in treated rats, leading to markedly shorter total duration (12.3+/-8.9 s), when compared to controls (546.2+/-130.3 s). Voluntary activity increased in treated rats during the last hours of recording, but bradyarrhythmic episodes were comparable between the two groups.
Endothelin receptor-A blockade in the brain of rats decreases the incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias post-ligation, without affecting bradyarrhythmic episodes. These findings call for further research on the pathophysiologic role of endothelin during acute myocardial infarction.
Endothelin has been implicated in various processes in the brain, including the modulation of sympathetic responses. The present study examined the pathophysiologic role of brain endothelin-receptors in the setting of acute myocardial infarction, characterized by high incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias.
We investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular administration of antagonists of endothelin-receptors ETA, ETB, or both, during a 24 h-observation period post-coronary ligation in (n = 70) rats. Continuous recording was performed via implanted telemetry transmitters, followed by arrhythmia-analysis and calculation of autonomic indices derived from heart rate variability. The regional myocardial electrophysiologic properties were assessed by monophasic action potentials and multi-electrode recordings.
Sympathetic-activity was decreased and vagal-activity was enhanced after intracerebroventricular ETA-receptor blockade, thus attenuating regional myocardial repolarization inhomogeneity. As a result, the incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias was markedly lower in this group. Such effects were also observed after intracerebroventricular blockade of ETB-, or both, ETA- and ETB-receptors, although to a lesser extent.
ETA-receptors in the brain modulate sympathetic and vagal responses and alter arrhythmogenesis during evolving myocardial necrosis in rats. These findings provide insights into arrhythmogenic mechanisms during acute myocardial infarction and call for further investigation on the role of endothelin in the central autonomic network.