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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important and growing clinical problem. Current pharmacological treatments are unsatisfactory. Electrical remodeling has been identified as one of the principal pathophysiological mechanisms that promote AF, but there are no effective therapies to prevent or correct electrical remodeling in patients with AF. In AF, cardiac production and circulating levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) are increased. However, its functional significance in AF remains to be determined. We assessed the hypotheses that chronic BNP treatment may prevent the altered electrophysiology in AF, and preventing AF-induced activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) may play a role. Forty-four rabbits were randomly divided into sham, rapid atrial pacing (RAP at 600 beats/min for 3 weeks), RAP/BNP, and sham/BNP groups. Rabbits in the RAP/BNP and sham/BNP groups received subcutaneous BNP (20 μg/kg twice daily) during the 3-week study period. HL-1 cells were subjected to rapid field stimulation for 24 hours in the presence or absence of BNP, KN-93 (a CaMKII inhibitor), or KN-92 (a nonactive analog of KN-93). We compared atrial electrical remodeling-related alterations in the ion channel/function/expression of these animals. We found that only in the RAP group, AF inducibility was significantly increased, atrial effective refractory periods and action potential duration were reduced, and the density of I Ca, L and I to decreased, while I K1 increased. The changes in the expressions of Cav1.2, Kv4.3, and Kir2.1 and currents showed a similar trend. In addition, in the RAP group, the activation of CaMKIIδ and phosphorylation of ryanodine receptor 2 and phospholamban significantly increased. Importantly, these changes were prevented in the RAP/BNP group, which were further validated by in vitro studies. Chronic BNP therapy prevents atrial electrical remodeling in AF. Inhibition of CaMKII activation plays an important role to its anti-AF efficacy in this model.


Hongyan Zhao, Tiankai Li, Guangzhong Liu, Li Zhang, Guangnan Li, Jia Yu, Qi Lou, Rui He, Chengchuang Zhan, Luyifei Li, Wen Yang, Yanxiang Zang, Cheping Cheng, Weimin Li. Chronic B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Therapy Prevents Atrial Electrical Remodeling in a Rabbit Model of Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology and therapeutics. 2019 Nov;24(6):575-585

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PMID: 31159577

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