Cited 3 times since 2015 (0.5 per year) source: Scopus Scientific reports, Volume 5, 21 3 2015, Pages 15187 Constitutively Active Acetylcholine-Dependent Potassium Current Increases Atrial Defibrillation Threshold by Favoring Post-Shock Re-Initiation. Bingen BO, Askar SF, Neshati Z, Feola I, Panfilov AV, de Vries AA, Pijnappels DA
Electrical cardioversion (ECV), a mainstay in atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment, is unsuccessful in up to 10-20% of patients. An important aspect of the remodeling process caused by AF is the constitutive activition of the atrium-specific acetylcholine-dependent potassium current (IK,ACh → IK,ACh-c), which is associated with ECV failure. This study investigated the role of IK,ACh-c in ECV failure and setting the atrial defibrillation threshold (aDFT) in optically mapped neonatal rat cardiomyocyte monolayers. AF was induced by burst pacing followed by application of biphasic shocks of 25-100 V to determine aDFT. Blocking IK,ACh-c by tertiapin significantly decreased DFT, which correlated with a significant increase in wavelength during reentry. Genetic knockdown experiments, using lentiviral vectors encoding a Kcnj5-specific shRNA to modulate IK,ACh-c, yielded similar results. Mechanistically, failed ECV was attributed to incomplete phase singularity (PS) removal or reemergence of PSs (i.e. re-initiation) through unidirectional propagation of shock-induced action potentials. Re-initiation occurred at significantly higher voltages than incomplete PS-removal and was inhibited by IK,ACh-c blockade. Whole-heart mapping confirmed our findings showing a 60% increase in ECV success rate after IK,ACh-c blockade. This study provides new mechanistic insight into failing ECV of AF and identifies IK,ACh-c as possible atrium-specific target to increase ECV effectiveness, while decreasing its harmfulness.