Mitochondrial Ca2+ influx contributes to arrhythmic risk in nonischemic cardiomyopathy

An Xie, Zhen Song, Hong Liu, Anyu Zhou, Guangbin Shi, Qiongying Wang, Lianzhi Gu, Man Liu, Lai Hua Xie, Zhilin Qu, Samuel C. Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background--Heart failure (HF) is associated with increased arrhythmia risk and triggered activity. Abnormal Ca2+ handling is thought to underlie triggered activity, and mitochondria participate in Ca2+ homeostasis. Methods and Results--A model of nonischemic HF was induced in C57BL/6 mice by hypertension. Computer simulations were performed using a mouse ventricular myocyte model of HF. Isoproterenol-induced premature ventricular contractions and ventricular fibrillation were more prevalent in nonischemic HF mice than sham controls. Isolated myopathic myocytes showed decreased cytoplasmic Ca2+ transients, increased mitochondrial Ca2+ transients, and increased action potential duration at 90% repolarization. The alteration of action potential duration at 90% repolarization was consistent with in vivo corrected QT prolongation and could be explained by augmented L-type Ca2+ currents, increased Na+-Ca2+ exchange currents, and decreased total K+ currents. Of myopathic ventricular myocytes, 66% showed early afterdepolarizations (EADs) compared with 17% of sham myocytes (P < 0.05). Intracellular application of 1 lmol/L Ru360, a mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter-specific antagonist, could reduce mitochondrial Ca2+ transients, decrease action potential duration at 90% repolarization, and ameliorate EADs. Furthermore, genetic knockdown of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporters inhibited mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, reduced Na+-Ca2+ exchange currents, decreased action potential duration at 90% repolarization, suppressed EADs, and reduced ventricular fibrillation in nonischemic HF mice. Computer simulations showed that EADs promoted by HF remodeling could be abolished by blocking either the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter or the L-type Ca2+ current, consistent with the experimental observations. Conclusions--Mitochondrial Ca2+ handling plays an important role in EADs seen with nonischemic cardiomyopathy and may represent a therapeutic target to reduce arrhythmic risk in this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere007805
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 17 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 HL104025 and R01 HL106592 to Dudley and R01 HL133294 to Qu and Xie) and Veterans Affairs MERIT grant (BX000859 to Dudley).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors.


  • Arrhythmia
  • Calcium
  • Heart failure
  • Mitochondria


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