55 results found
Kanemaru K, Cranley J, Muraro D, et al., 2023, Spatially resolved multiomics of human cardiac niches, Nature, Vol: 619, Pages: 801-810, ISSN: 0028-0836
The function of a cell is defined by its intrinsic characteristics and its niche: the tissue microenvironment in which it dwells. Here we combine single-cell and spatial transcriptomics data to discover cellular niches within eight regions of the human heart. We map cells to microanatomical locations and integrate knowledge-based and unsupervised structural annotations. We also profile the cells of the human cardiac conduction system1. The results revealed their distinctive repertoire of ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and regulatory networks, and implicated FOXP2 in the pacemaker phenotype. We show that the sinoatrial node is compartmentalized, with a core of pacemaker cells, fibroblasts and glial cells supporting glutamatergic signalling. Using a custom CellPhoneDB.org module, we identify trans-synaptic pacemaker cell interactions with glia. We introduce a druggable target prediction tool, drug2cell, which leverages single-cell profiles and drug-target interactions to provide mechanistic insights into the chronotropic effects of drugs, including GLP-1 analogues. In the epicardium, we show enrichment of both IgG+ and IgA+ plasma cells forming immune niches that may contribute to infection defence. Overall, we provide new clarity to cardiac electro-anatomy and immunology, and our suite of computational approaches can be applied to other tissues and organs.
Patel H, Sintou A, Chowdhury RA, et al., 2023, Evaluation of autoantibody binding to cardiac tissue in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and COVID-19 vaccination-induced myocarditis., JAMA Network Open, Vol: 6, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2574-3805
IMPORTANCE: Cardiac dysfunction and myocarditis have emerged as serious complications of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Understanding the role of autoantibodies in these conditions is essential for guiding MIS-C management and vaccination strategies in children. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the presence of anticardiac autoantibodies in MIS-C or COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This diagnostic study included children with acute MIS-C or acute vaccine myocarditis, adults with myocarditis or inflammatory cardiomyopathy, healthy children prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and healthy COVID-19 vaccinated adults. Participants were recruited into research studies in the US, United Kingdom, and Austria starting January 2021. Immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, and IgA anticardiac autoantibodies were identified with immunofluorescence staining of left ventricular myocardial tissue from 2 human donors treated with sera from patients and controls. Secondary antibodies were fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated antihuman IgG, IgM, and IgA. Images were taken for detection of specific IgG, IgM, and IgA deposits and measurement of fluorescein isothiocyanate fluorescence intensity. Data were analyzed through March 10, 2023. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: IgG, IgM and IgA antibody binding to cardiac tissue. RESULTS: By cohort, there were a total of 10 children with MIS-C (median [IQR] age, 10 [13-14] years; 6 male), 10 with vaccine myocarditis (median age, 15 [14-16] years; 10 male), 8 adults with myocarditis or inflammatory cardiomyopathy (median age, 55 [46-63] years; 6 male), 10 healthy pediatric controls (median age, 8 [13-14] years; 5 male), and 10 healthy vaccinated adults (all older than 21 years, 5 male). No antibody binding above background was observed in human cardiac tissue treated with sera from pediatric patients with MIS-C or vaccine myocarditis. One of the 8 adult patients with myocarditi
Kim MY, Nesbitt J, Koutsoftidis S, et al., 2023, Immunohistochemical characteristics of local sites that trigger atrial arrhythmias in response to high frequency stimulation, EP Europace, Vol: 25, Pages: 726-738, ISSN: 1099-5129
Introduction: The response to high frequency stimulation (HFS) is used to locate putative sites of ganglionated plexuses (GPs), which are implicated in triggering atrial fibrillation (AF). Objective: To identify topological and immunohistochemical characteristics of presumed GP sites functionally identified by HFS. Methods: 63 atrial sites were tested with HFS in 4 Langendorff-perfused porcine hearts. A 3.5mm tip quadripolar ablation catheter was used to stimulate and deliver HFS to the left and right atrial epicardium, within the local atrial refractory period. Tissue samples from sites triggering atrial ectopy/AF (ET) sites and non-ET sites were stained with choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), for quantification of parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves, respectively. The average cross-sectional area (CSA) of nerves was also calculated.Results: Histomorphometry of 6 ET sites (9.5%) identified by HFS evoking at least a single atrial ectopic was compared with non-ET sites. All ET sites contained ChAT-immunoreactive (ChAT-IR) and/or TH-immunoreactive nerves (TH-IR). Nerve density was greater in ET sites compared to non-ET sites (nerves/cm2: 162.3 ±110.9 vs 69.65 ±72.48; p=0.047). Overall, TH-IR nerves had larger CSA than ChAT-IR nerves (µm2: 11,196 ± 35,141 vs 2,070 ± 5,841; p<0.0001), but in ET sites, TH-IR nerves were smaller than in non-ET sites (µm2: 6,021±14,586 vs 25,254 ± 61,499; p<0.001).Conclusions: ET sites identified by HFS contained higher density of smaller nerves than non-ET sites. Majority of these nerves were within the atrial myocardium. This has important clinical implications on devising an effective therapeutic strategy for targeting autonomic triggers of AF.
Reichart D, Lindberg EL, Maatz H, et al., 2022, Pathogenic variants damage cell composition and single-cell transcription in cardiomyopathies, Science, Vol: 377, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0036-8075
INTRODUCTIONHuman heart failure is a highly morbid condition that affects 23 million individuals worldwide. It emerges in the setting of an array of different cardiovascular disorders, which has propelled the notion that diverse stimuli converge on a common final pathway. Consistent with this, initiating etiologies do not direct heart failure treatments, which are often inadequate and necessitate mechanical interventions and cardiac transplantation.The recent application of single-nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNAseq) transcriptional analyses to characterize the cellular composition and molecular states in the healthy adult human heart provides an emerging benchmark by which disease-related changes can be assessed. Moreover, the discovery of human pathogenic variants that cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM), disorders associated with high rates of heart failure, provides direct opportunities to evaluate whether genotype influences heart failure pathways.RATIONALEA systematic identification of shared and distinct molecules and pathways involved in heart failure is lacking, and knowledge of these fundamental data could propel the development of more effective treatments. To enable these discoveries, we performed snRNAseq of explanted ventricular tissues from 18 healthy donors and 61 heart failure patients. By focusing analyses on multiple samples with pathogenic variants in DCM genes (LMNA, RBM20, and TTN), ACM genes (PKP2), or pathogenic variant–negative (PV negative) samples, we characterized genotype-stratified and common heart failure responses.RESULTSFrom 881,081 nuclei isolated from left and right diseased and healthy ventricles, we identified 10 major cell types and 71 distinct transcriptional states. DCM and ACM tissues showed significant depletion of cardiomyocytes and increased endothelial and immune cells. Fibrosis was expanded in disease hearts, but, unexpectedly, fibroblasts were not increased, and instead showed a
Hesketh LM, Sikkel MB, Mahoney-Sanchez L, et al., 2022, OCT2013, an ischaemia-activated antiarrhythmic prodrug, devoid of the systemic side effects of lidocaine, British Journal of Pharmacology, Vol: 179, Pages: 2037-2053, ISSN: 0007-1188
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) caused by acute myocardial ischaemia and ventricular fibrillation (VF) is an unmet therapeutic need. Lidocaine suppresses ischaemia-induced VF, but utility is limited by side effects and a narrow therapeutic index. Here we characterise OCT2013, a putative ischaemia-activated prodrug of lidocaine. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The rat Langendorff-perfused isolated heart, anaesthetised rat and rat ventricular myocyte preparations were utilised in a series of blinded and randomised studies to investigate the antiarrhythmic effectiveness, adverse effects and mechanism of action of OCT2013, compared with lidocaine. KEY RESULTS: In isolated hearts, OCT2013 and lidocaine prevented ischaemia-induced VF equi-effectively, but OCT2013 did not share lidocaine's adverse effects (PR widening, bradycardia and negative inotropy). In anesthetised rats, i.v. OCT2013 and lidocaine suppressed VF and increased survival equi-effectively; OCT2013 had no effect on cardiac output even at 64 mg.kg-1 i.v., whereas lidocaine reduced it even at 1 mg.kg-1 . In adult rat ventricular myocytes, OCT2013 had no effect on Ca2+ handling whereas lidocaine impaired it. In paced isolated hearts, lidocaine caused rate-dependent conduction slowing and block, whereas OCT2013 was inactive. However, during regional ischaemia, OCT2013 and lidocaine equi-effectively hastened conduction block. Chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis revealed that OCT2013, detectable in normoxic OCT2013-perfused hearts, became undetectable during global ischaemia, with lidocaine becoming detectable. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: OCT2013 is inactive but is bioreduced locally in ischaemic myocardium to lidocaine, acting as an ischaemia-activated and ischaemia-selective antiarrhythmic prodrug with a large therapeutic index, mimicking lidocaine's benefit without adversity.
Scott A, Jackson T, Khalique Z, et al., 2022, Development of a CMR compatible large animal isolated heart model for direct comparison of beating and arrested hearts, NMR in Biomedicine, Vol: 35, ISSN: 0952-3480
BackgroundCardiac motion results in image artefacts and quantification errors in many cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques, including microstructural assessment using diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DT-CMR). Here we develop a CMR compatible isolated perfused porcine heart model that allows comparison of data obtained in beating and arrested states.Methods10 porcine hearts (8/10 for protocol optimisation) were harvested using a donor heart retrieval protocol and transported to the remote CMR facility. Langendorff perfusion in a 3D printed chamber and perfusion circuit re-established contraction. Hearts were imaged using cine, parametric mapping and STEAM DT-CMR at cardiac phases with the minimum and maximum wall thickness. High potassium and lithium perfusates were then used to arrest the heart in a slack and contracted state respectively. Imaging was repeated in both arrested states. After imaging, tissue was removed for subsequent histology in a location matched to the DT-CMR data using fiducial markers.ResultsRegular sustained contraction was successfully established in 6/10 hearts, including the final 5 hearts. Imaging was performed in 4 hearts and one underwent the full protocol including co-localised histology. Image quality was good and there was good agreement between DT-CMR data in equivalent beating and arrested states. Despite the use of autologous blood and dextran within the perfusate, T2, DT-CMR measures and an increase in mass was consistent with development of myocardial edema resulting in failure to achieve a true diastolic-like state. A contiguous stack of 313 5μm histological sections at and a 100μm thick section showing cell morphology on 3D fluorescent confocal microscopy co-localised to DT-CMR data were obtained.ConclusionsA CMR compatible isolated perfused beating heart setup for large animal hearts allows direct comparisons of beating and arrested heart data with subsequent co-localised histology without
Ntagiantas K, Panagopoulos D, Poon WM, et al., 2022, Electrogram-based Estimation of Myocardial Conduction Using Deep Neural Networks, ISSN: 2325-8861
Contact electrograms (EGMs) can be used to guide catheter ablation in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. However, our understanding of the link between electrophysiology (EP) and the underlying myocardial substrate is limited. We use neural networks and EGMs to estimate the amount of collagen within the field of view of the recording electrodes. EGMs were recorded from rat ventricular slices (n=15), Samples were imaged using second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, allowing for quantification of collagen. A convolutional neural network (1D-ResNet) was trained to estimate collagen distribution from the recorded EGMs. Each electrogram, recorded for one cycle length, was paired with a collagen index for the corresponding electrode. The total number of samples was 91,239. We successfully estimated collagen index in the testing set, with an absolute error of 0.022± 0.024, and a correlation coefficient of R=0.81 between the predicted and true collagen amount. The network identifies main morphological features of the EGMs as useful features for quantifying collagen underneath the electrode. This work provides a framework and proof of concept that location of scar can be predicted from EGMS using neural networks.
Letchumy MJ, Brook J, Ntagiantas K, et al., 2022, The Effects of Electrode Configuration on Omnipolar Electrograms: An In-Silico Approach, ISSN: 2325-8861
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac ar-rhythmia, involving pathological triggers and substrate in the atria. In the clinical catheter laboratory, contact electrograms are an essential tool to characterise AF. Omnipolar electrograms (OE), derived from three or more neighbouring electrodes, are thought to be superior compared to traditional unipolar and bipolar electrograms by eliminating far-field effects and correcting for wavefront incidence angle. We sought to understand the changes in OE morphology under different electrode configurations using 2D simulations of healthy tissue and scarred tissue. Virtual unipolar electrograms (UE) were generated from single electrodes which were used to predict the local electric field and subsequently calculate OEs in cliques of 3, 4, and 6 electrodes at different inter-electrode spacings. Five features were identified on each OE to measure changes in OE morphology under different clique configurations. Additionally, the morphology of the OE signals in the presence of fibrosis was examined. OE signals obtained from scarred tissue are more fractionated compared to healthy tissue. The most appropriate inter-electrode distance for interpreting the OE signals was found to be 2-3mm, using either three or four electrodes.
Herrero Martin C, Oved A, Chowdhury R, et al., 2021, EP-PINNs: cardiac electrophysiology characterisation using physics-informed neural networks, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, ISSN: 2297-055X
Accurately inferring underlying electrophysiological (EP) tissue properties from action potential recordings is expected to be clinically useful in the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, but it is notoriously difficult to perform. We present EP-PINNs (Physics-Informed Neural Networks), a novel tool for accurate action potential simulation and EP parameter estimation, from sparse amounts of EP data. We demonstrate, using 1D and 2D in silico data, how EP-PINNs are able to reconstruct the spatio-temporal evolution of action potentials, whilst predicting parameters related to action potential duration (APD), excitability and diffusion coefficients. EP-PINNs are additionally able to identify heterogeneities in EP properties, making them potentially useful for the detection of fibrosis and other localised pathology linked to arrhythmias. Finally, we show EP-PINNs effectiveness on biological in vitro preparations, by characterising the effect of anti-arrhythmic drugs on APD using optical mapping data. EP-PINNs are a promising clinical tool for the characterisation and potential treatment guidance of arrhythmias.
Martin CH, Oved A, Chowdhury RA, et al., 2021, EP-PINNs: cardiac electrophysiology characterisation using physics-informed neural networks, Publisher: arXiv
Accurately inferring underlying electrophysiological (EP) tissue propertiesfrom action potential recordings is expected to be clinically useful in thediagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, but it isnotoriously difficult to perform. We present EP-PINNs (Physics-Informed NeuralNetworks), a novel tool for accurate action potential simulation and EPparameter estimation, from sparse amounts of EP data. We demonstrate, using 1Dand 2D in silico data, how EP-PINNs are able to reconstruct the spatio-temporalevolution of action potentials, whilst predicting parameters related to actionpotential duration (APD), excitability and diffusion coefficients. EP-PINNs areadditionally able to identify heterogeneities in EP properties, making thempotentially useful for the detection of fibrosis and other localised pathologylinked to arrhythmias. Finally, we show EP-PINNs effectiveness on biological invitro preparations, by characterising the effect of anti-arrhythmic drugs onAPD using optical mapping data. EP-PINNs are a promising clinical tool for thecharacterisation and potential treatment guidance of arrhythmias.
Jabbour R, Owen T, Pandey P, et al., 2021, In vivo grafting of large engineered heart tissue patches for cardiac repair, JCI Insight, Vol: 6, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 2379-3708
Engineered heart tissue (EHT) strategies, by combining cells within a hydrogel matrix, may be anovel therapy for heart failure. EHTs restore cardiac function in rodent injury models, but more dataare needed in clinically relevant settings. Accordingly, an upscaled EHT patch (2.5 cm × 1.5 cm × 1.5mm) consisting of up to 20 million human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes(hPSC-CMs) embedded in a fibrin-based hydrogel was developed. A rabbit myocardial infarctionmodel was then established to test for feasibility and efficacy. Our data showed that hPSC-CMs inEHTs became more aligned over 28 days and had improved contraction kinetics and faster calciumtransients. Blinded echocardiographic analysis revealed a significant improvement in function ininfarcted hearts that received EHTs, along with reduction in infarct scar size by 35%. Vascularizationfrom the host to the patch was observed at week 1 and stable to week 4, but electrical couplingbetween patch and host heart was not observed. In vivo telemetry recordings and ex vivoarrhythmia provocation protocols showed that the patch was not pro-arrhythmic. In summary, EHTsimproved function and reduced scar size without causing arrhythmia, which may be due to the lackof electrical coupling between patch and host heart.
Chowdhury R, Debney M, Protti A, et al., 2021, Rotigaptide Infusion for the First 7 Days After Myocardial Infarction–Reperfusion Reduced Late Complexity of Myocardial Architecture of the Healing Border-Zone and Arrhythmia Inducibility, Journal of the American Heart Association, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 2047-9980
BackgroundSurvivors of myocardial infarction are at increased risk of late ventricular arrhythmias, with infarct size and scar heterogeneity being key determinants of arrhythmic risk. Gap junctions facilitate the passage of small ions and morphogenic cell signaling between myocytes. We hypothesized that gap junctions enhancement during infarction–reperfusion modulates structural and electrophysiological remodeling and reduces late arrhythmogenesis.Methods and ResultsInfarction–reperfusion surgery was carried out in male Sprague‐Dawley rats followed by 7 days of rotigaptide or saline administration. The in vivo and ex vivo arrhythmogenicity was characterized by programmed electrical stimulation 3 weeks later, followed by diffusion‐weighted magnetic resonance imaging and Masson's trichrome histology. Three weeks after 7‐day postinfarction administration of rotigaptide, ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation was induced on programmed electrical stimulation in 20% and 53% of rats, respectively (rotigaptide versus control), resulting in reduction of arrhythmia score (3.2 versus 1.4, P=0.018), associated with the reduced magnetic resonance imaging parameters fractional anisotropy (fractional anisotropy: −5% versus −15%; P=0.062) and mean diffusivity (mean diffusivity: 2% versus 6%, P=0.042), and remodeling of the 3‐dimensional laminar structure of the infarct border zone with reduction of the mean (16° versus 19°, P=0.013) and the dispersion (9° versus 12°, P=0.015) of the myofiber transverse angle. There was no change in ECG features, spontaneous arrhythmias, or mortality.ConclusionsEnhancement of gap junctions function by rotigaptide administered during the early healing phase in reperfused infarction reduces later complexity of infarct scar morphology and programmed electrical stimulation–induced arrhythmias, and merits further exploration as a feasible and practicable intervention in the acute myocardial infarcti
Handa B, Li X, Baxan N, et al., 2021, Ventricular fibrillation mechanism and global fibrillatory organisation are determined by gap junction coupling and fibrosis pattern, Cardiovascular Research, Vol: 117, Pages: 1078-1090, ISSN: 0008-6363
AimsConflicting data exist supporting differing mechanisms for sustaining ventricular fibrillation (VF), ranging from disorganised multiple-wavelet activation to organised rotational activities (RAs). Abnormal gap junction (GJ) coupling and fibrosis are important in initiation and maintenance of VF. We investigated whether differing ventricular fibrosis patterns and the degree of GJ coupling affected the underlying VF mechanism.Methods and ResultsOptical mapping of 65 Langendorff-perfused rat hearts was performed to study VF mechanisms in control hearts with acute GJ modulation, and separately in three differing chronic ventricular fibrosis models; compact (CF), diffuse (DiF) and patchy (PF). VF dynamics were quantified with phase mapping and frequency dominance index (FDI) analysis, a power ratio of the highest amplitude dominant frequency in the cardiac frequency spectrum.Enhanced GJ coupling with rotigaptide (n = 10) progressively organised fibrillation in a concentration-dependent manner; increasing FDI (0nM: 0.53±0.04, 80nM: 0.78±0.03, p < 0.001), increasing RA sustained VF time (0nM:44±6%, 80nM: 94±2%, p < 0.001) and stabilised RAs (maximum rotations for a RA; 0nM:5.4±0.5, 80nM: 48.2±12.3, p < 0.001). GJ uncoupling with carbenoxolone progressively disorganised VF; the FDI decreased (0µM: 0.60±0.05, 50µM: 0.17±0.03, p < 0.001) and RA-sustained VF time decreased (0µM: 61±9%, 50µM: 3±2%, p < 0.001).In CF, VF activity was disorganised and the RA-sustained VF time was the lowest (CF: 27±7% versus PF: 75±5%, p < 0.001). Global fibrillatory organisation measured by FDI was highest in PF (PF: 0.67±0.05 versus CF: 0.33±0.03, p < 0.001). PF harboured the longest duration and most spatially stable RAs (patchy: 1411&plusm
Forte E, Perkins B, Sintou A, et al., 2020, Cross-priming dendritic cells exacerbate immunopathology after ischemic tissue damage in the heart, Circulation, Vol: 143, Pages: 821-836, ISSN: 0009-7322
Background: Ischemic heart disease is a leading cause of heart failure and despite advanced therapeutic options, morbidity and mortality rates remain high. Although acute inflammation in response to myocardial cell death has been extensively studied, subsequent adaptive immune activity and anti-heart autoimmunity may also contribute to the development of HF. After ischemic injury to the myocardium, dendritic cells (DC) respond to cardiomyocyte necrosis, present cardiac antigen to T cells and potentially initiate a persistent autoimmune response against the heart. Cross-priming DC have the ability to activate both CD4+ helperand CD8+ cytotoxic T cells in response to necrotic cells and may thus be crucial players in exacerbating autoimmunity targeting the heart. This study investigates a role for cross priming DC in post-MI myocardial impairment through presentation of self-antigen fromnecrotic cardiomyocytes to cytotoxic CD8+ T cells.Methods: We induced type-2 myocardial infarction (MI)-like ischemic injury in the heart by treatment with a single high dose of the beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. We characterized the DC population in the heart and mediastinal lymph nodes and analyzed long term cardiac immunopathology and functional decline in wild type and Clec9a-depleted mice lacking DC cross-priming function.Results: A diverse DC population, including cross-priming DC, is present in the heart and activated after ischemic injury. Clec9a -/- mice deficient in DC cross-priming are protected from long-term immune-mediated myocardial damage and decline of cardiac function, likely dueto dampened activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells.Conclusion: Activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells by cross-priming DC contributes to exacerbation of post-ischemic inflammatory damage of the myocardium and corresponding decline in cardiac function. Importantly, this provides novel therapeutic targets to prevent immune-mediated worsening of post-ischemic HF.
Brook J, Kim M-Y, Koutsoftidis S, et al., 2020, Development of a pro-arrhythmic ex vivo intact human and porcine model: cardiac electrophysiological changes associated with cellular uncoupling, Pflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology, Vol: 472, Pages: 1435-1446, ISSN: 0031-6768
We describe a human and large animal Langendorff experimental apparatus for live electrophysiological studies and measure the electrophysiological changes due to gap-junction uncoupling in human and porcine hearts. The resultant ex vivo intact human and porcine model can bridge the translational gap between smaller simple laboratory models and clinical research. In particular, electrophysiological models would benefit from the greater myocardial mass of a large heart due to its effects on far field signal, electrode contact issues and motion artefacts, consequently more closely mimicking the clinical setting Porcine (n=9) and human (n=4) donor hearts were perfused on a custom-designed Langendorff apparatus. Epicardial electrograms were collected at 16 sites across the left atrium and left ventricle. 1mM of carbenoxolone was administered at 5ml/min to induce cellular uncoupling, and then recordings were repeated at the same sites. Changes in electrogram characteristics were analysed.We demonstrate the viability of a controlled ex vivo model of intact porcine and human hearts for electrophysiology with pharmacological modulation. Carbenoxolone reduces cellular coupling and changes contact electrogram features. The time from stimulus artefact to (-dV/dt)max increased between baseline and carbenoxolone (47.9±4.1ms to 67.2±2.7ms) indicating conduction slowing. The features with the largest percentage change between baseline to Carbenoxolone were Fractionation +185.3%, Endpoint amplitude -106.9%, S-Endpoint Gradient +54.9%, S Point, -39.4%, RS Ratio +38.6% and (-dV/dt)max -20.9%.The physiological relevance of this methodological tool is that it provides a model to further investigate pharmacologically-induced proarrhythmic substrates.
Sintou A, Mansfield C, Iacob A-O, et al., 2020, Mediastinal lymphadenopathy, class-switched auto-antibodies and myocardial immune-complexes during heart failure in rodents and humans, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2296-634X
Mediastinal lymphadenopathy and auto-antibodies are clinical phenomena during ischemicheart failure pointing to an autoimmune response against the heart. T and B cell have beenconvincingly demonstrated to be activated after myocardial infarction, a prerequisite for thegeneration of mature auto-antibodies. Yet, little is known about the immunoglobulin isotyperepertoire thus pathological potential of anti-heart auto-antibodies during heart failure.We obtained human myocardial tissue from ischemic heart failure patients and inducedexperimental MI in rats. We found that anti-heart autoimmunity persists during heart failure.Rat mediastinal lymph nodes are enlarged and contain active secondary follicles with matureisotype-switched IgG2a B cells. Mature IgG2a auto-antibodies specific for cardiac antigens arepresent in rat heart failure serum, and IgG and complement C3 deposits are evident in heartfailure tissue of both rats and human patients.Previously established myocardial inflammation, and the herein provided proof of B cellmaturation in lymph nodes and myocardial deposition of mature auto-antibodies, provide allthe hallmark signs of an established autoimmune response in chronic heart failure.
Handa BS, Li X, Aras KK, et al., 2020, Response by Handa et al to letter regarding article, "Granger causality-based analysis for classification of fibrillation mechanisms and localization of rotational drivers", Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1941-3084
Lyon A, Babalis D, Morley-Smith AC, et al., 2020, Investigation of the safety and feasibility of AAV1/SERCA2a gene transfer in patients with chronic heart failure supported with a left ventricular assist device – the SERCA-LVAD TRIAL, Gene Therapy, Vol: 27, Pages: 579-590, ISSN: 0969-7128
The SERCA-LVAD trial was a phase 2a trial assessing the safety and feasibility of delivering an adeno-associated vector 1 carrying the cardiac isoform of the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (AAV1/SERCA2a) to adult chronic heart failure patients implanted with a left ventricular assist device. Enrolled subjects were randomised to receive a single intracoronary infusion of 1x1013 DNase-resistant AAV1/SERCA2a particles or a placebo solution in a double-blinded design, stratified by presence of neutralising antibodies to AAV. Elective endomyocardial biopsy was performed at 6 months unless the subject had undergone cardiac transplantation, with myocardial samples assessed for the presence of exogenous viral DNA from the treatment vector. Safety assessments including ELISPOT were serially performed. Although designed as a 24 subject trial, recruitment was stopped after five subjects had been randomised and received infusion due to the neutral result from the CUPID 2 trial. Here we describe the results from the 5 patients, which confirmed that viral DNA was delivered to the failing human heart in 2 patients receiving gene therapy with vector detectable at follow up endomyocardial biopsy or cardiac transplantation. Absolute levels of detectable transgene DNA were low, and no functional benefit was observed. There were no safety concerns in this small cohort. This trial identified some of the challenges of performing gene therapy trials in this LVAD patient cohort, which may help guide future trial design.
Gorelik J, Sanchez-Alonso J, Loucks A, et al., 2020, Nanoscale regulation of L-type calcium channels differentiates between ischemic and dilated cardiomyopathies., EBioMedicine, Vol: 57, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2352-3964
BackgroundSubcellular localization and function of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) play an important role in regulating contraction of cardiomyocytes. Understanding how this is affected by the disruption of transverse tubules during heart failure could lead to new insights into the disease.MethodsCardiomyocytes were isolated from healthy donor hearts, as well as from patients with cardiomyopathies and with left ventricular assist devices. Scanning ion conductance and confocal microscopy was used to study membrane structures in the cells. Super-resolution scanning patch-clamp was used to examine LTCC function in different microdomains. Computational modeling predicted the impact of these changes to arrhythmogenesis at the whole-heart level.FindingsWe showed that loss of structural organization in failing myocytes leads to re-distribution of functional LTCCs from the T-tubules to the sarcolemma. In ischemic cardiomyopathy, the increased LTCC open probability in the T-tubules depends on the phosphorylation by protein kinase A, whereas in dilated cardiomyopathy, the increased LTCC opening probability in the sarcolemma results from enhanced phosphorylation by calcium-calmodulin kinase II. LVAD implantation corrected LTCCs pathophysiological activity, although it did not improve their distribution. Using computational modeling in a 3D anatomically-realistic human ventricular model, we showed how LTCC location and activity can trigger heart rhythm disorders of different severity.InterpretationOur findings demonstrate that LTCC redistribution and function differentiate between disease aetiologies. The subcellular changes observed in specific microdomains could be the consequence of the action of distinct protein kinases.FundingThis work was supported by NIH grant (ROI-HL 126802 to NT-JG) and British Heart Foundation (grant RG/17/13/33173 to JG, project grant PG/16/17/32069 to RAC). Funders had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation, writing
Rifai SE, Sintou A, Mansfield C, et al., 2020, Humoral factors in serum of rats with chronic heart failure induce cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and reduce viability., Clinical medicine (London, England), Vol: 20, Pages: s107-s107, ISSN: 1470-2118
Handa B, Li X, Aras KK, et al., 2020, Granger causality-based analysis for classification of fibrillation mechanisms and localisation of rotational drivers, Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Vol: 12, Pages: 258-273, ISSN: 1941-3084
Background:The mechanisms sustaining myocardial fibrillation remain disputed, partly due to a lack of mapping tools that can accurately identify the mechanism with low spatial resolution clinical recordings. Granger causality (GC) analysis, an econometric tool for quantifying causal relationships between complex time-series, was developed as a novel fibrillation mapping tool and adapted to low spatial resolution sequentially acquired data.Methods:Ventricular fibrillation (VF) optical mapping was performed in Langendorff-perfused Sprague-Dawley rat hearts (n=18), where novel algorithms were developed using GC-based analysis to (1) quantify causal dependence of neighboring signals and plot GC vectors, (2) quantify global organization with the causality pairing index, a measure of neighboring causal signal pairs, and (3) localize rotational drivers (RDs) by quantifying the circular interdependence of neighboring signals with the circular interdependence value. GC-based mapping tools were optimized for low spatial resolution from downsampled optical mapping data, validated against high-resolution phase analysis and further tested in previous VF optical mapping recordings of coronary perfused donor heart left ventricular wedge preparations (n=12), and adapted for sequentially acquired intracardiac electrograms during human persistent atrial fibrillation mapping (n=16).Results:Global VF organization quantified by causality pairing index showed a negative correlation at progressively lower resolutions (50% resolution: P=0.006, R2=0.38, 12.5% resolution, P=0.004, R2=0.41) with a phase analysis derived measure of disorganization, locations occupied by phase singularities. In organized VF with high causality pairing index values, GC vector mapping characterized dominant propagating patterns and localized stable RDs, with the circular interdependence value showing a significant difference in driver versus nondriver regions (0.91±0.05 versus 0.35±0.06, P=0.0002).
Li X, Roney C, Handa B, et al., 2019, Standardised framework for quantitative analysisof fibrillation dynamics, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322
The analysis of complex mechanisms underlying ventricular fibrillation (VF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) requires sophisticatedtools for studying spatio-temporal action potential (AP) propagation dynamics. However, fibrillation analysis tools are oftencustom-made or proprietary, and vary between research groups. With no optimal standardised framework for analysis, resultsfrom different studies have led to disparate findings. Given the technical gap, here we present a comprehensive framework andset of principles for quantifying properties of wavefront dynamics in phase-processed data recorded during myocardial fibrillationwith potentiometric dyes. Phase transformation of the fibrillatory data is particularly useful for identifying self-perpetuating spiralwaves or rotational drivers (RDs) rotating around a phase singularity (PS). RDs have been implicated in sustaining fibrillation,and thus accurate localisation and quantification of RDs is crucial for understanding specific fibrillatory mechanisms. In thiswork, we assess how variation of analysis parameters and thresholds in the tracking of PSs and quantification of RDs couldresult in different interpretations of the underlying fibrillation mechanism. These techniques have been described and appliedto experimental AF and VF data, and AF simulations, and examples are provided from each of these data sets to demonstratethe range of fibrillatory behaviours and adaptability of these tools. The presented methodologies are available as an opensource software and offer an off-the-shelf research toolkit for quantifying and analysing fibrillatory mechanisms.
Handa BS, Li X, Roney C, et al., 2019, Enhanced gap junction coupling organised and terminated acute ventricular fibrillation in ex-vivo perfused hearts, Congress of the European-Society-of-Cardiology (ESC) / World Congress of Cardiology, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: 3034-3034, ISSN: 0195-668X
Handa BS, Li X, Mansfield CA, et al., 2019, Ventricular fibrosis spatial distribution and quantity is a key mechanistic determinant of ventricular fibrillation mechanisms, Congress of the European-Society-of-Cardiology (ESC) / World Congress of Cardiology, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: 896-896, ISSN: 0195-668X
Sattler S, Baxan N, Chowdhury R, et al., 2019, Characterization of acute TLR-7 agonist-induced hemorrhagic myocarditis in mice by multi-parametric quantitative cardiac MRI, Disease Models & Mechanisms, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1754-8403
Hemorrhagic myocarditis is a potentially fatal complication of excessive levels of systemic inflammation. It has been reported in viral infection, but is also possible in systemic autoimmunity. Epicutaneous treatment of mice with the TLR-7 agonist Resiquimod induces auto-antibodies and systemic tissue damage including in the heart, and is used as an inducible mouse model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).Here, we show that over-activation of the TLR-7 pathway of viral recognition by Resiquimod-treatment of CFN mice induces severe thrombocytopenia and internal bleeding which manifests most prominently as hemorrhagic myocarditis. We optimized a cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) tissue mapping approach for the in vivo detection of diffuse infiltration, fibrosis and hemorrhages using a combination of T1, T2 and T2* relaxation times, and compared results to ex vivo histopathology of cardiac sections corresponding to CMR tissue maps. This allowed a detailed correlation between in vivo CMR parameters and ex vivo histopathology, and confirmed the need to include T2* measurements to detect tissue iron for accurate interpretation of pathology associated with CMR parameter changes.In summary, we provide detailed histological and in vivo imaging-based characterization of acute hemorrhagic myocarditis as acute cardiac complication in the mouse model of Resiquimod-induced SLE, and a refined CMR protocol to allow non-invasive longitudinal in vivo studies of heart involvement in acute inflammation. We propose that adding T2* mapping to CMR protocols for myocarditis diagnosis will improve interpretation of disease mechanisms and diagnostic sensitivity.
Handa B, Li X, Mansfield C, et al., 2019, MYOCARDIAL FIBROSIS AND THE DEGREE OF GAP JUNCTION COUPLING DIRECTLY MODIFIES THE UNDERLYING MECHANISM OF FIBRILLATION, Annual Conference of the British-Cardiovascular-Society (BCS) - Digital Health Revolution, Publisher: BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: A179-A180, ISSN: 1355-6037
Handa B, Lawal S, Wright IJ, et al., 2019, Interventricular differences in action potential duration restitution contribute to dissimilar ventricular rhythms in ex vivo perfused hearts, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2297-055X
Background: Dissimilar ventricular rhythms refer to the occurrence of different ventricular tachyarrhythmias in the right and left ventricles or different rates of the same tachyarrhythmia in the two ventricles.Objective: We investigated the inducibility of dissimilar ventricular rhythms, their underlying mechanisms, and the impact of anti-arrhythmic drugs (lidocaine and amiodarone) on their occurrence.Methods: Ventricular tachyarrhythmias were induced with burst pacing in 28 Langendorff-perfused Sprague Dawley rat hearts (14 control, 8 lidocaine, 6 amiodarone) and bipolar electrograms recorded from the right and left ventricles. Fourteen (6 control, 4 lidocaine, 4 amiodarone) further hearts underwent optical mapping of transmembrane voltage to study interventricular electrophysiological differences and mechanisms of dissimilar rhythms.Results: In control hearts, dissimilar ventricular rhythms developed in 8/14 hearts (57%). In lidocaine treated hearts, there was a lower cycle length threshold for developing dissimilar rhythms, with 8/8 (100%) hearts developing dissimilar rhythms in comparison to 0/6 in the amiodarone group. Dissimilar ventricular tachycardia (VT) rates occurred at longer cycle lengths with lidocaine vs. control (57.1 ± 7.9 vs. 36.6 ± 8.4 ms, p < 0.001). The ratio of LV:RV VT rate was greater in the lidocaine group than control (1.91 ± 0.30 vs. 1.76 ± 0.36, p < 0.001). The gradient of the action potential duration (APD) restitution curve was shallower in the RV compared with LV (Control - LV: 0.12 ± 0.03 vs RV: 0.002 ± 0.03, p = 0.015), leading to LV-to-RV conduction block during VT.Conclusion: Interventricular differences in APD restitution properties likely contribute to the occurrence of dissimilar rhythms. Sodium channel blockade with lidocaine increases the likelihood of dissimilar ventricular rhythms.
Cantwell C, Mohamied Y, Tzortzis K, et al., 2019, Rethinking multiscale cardiac electrophysiology with machine learning and predictive modelling, Computers in Biology and Medicine, Vol: 104, Pages: 339-351, ISSN: 0010-4825
We review some of the latest approaches to analysing cardiac electrophysiology data using machine learning and predictive modelling. Cardiac arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, are a major global healthcare challenge. Treatment is often through catheter ablation, which involves the targeted localised destruction of regions of the myocardium responsible for initiating or perpetuating the arrhythmia. Ablation targets are either anatomically defined, or identified based on their functional properties as determined through the analysis of contact intracardiac electrograms acquired with increasing spatial density by modern electroanatomic mapping systems. While numerous quantitative approaches have been investigated over the past decades for identifying these critical curative sites, few have provided a reliable and reproducible advance in success rates. Machine learning techniques, including recent deep-learning approaches, offer a potential route to gaining new insight from this wealth of highly complex spatio-temporal information that existing methods struggle to analyse. Coupled with predictive modelling, these techniques offer exciting opportunities to advance the field and produce more accurate diagnoses and robust personalised treatment. We outline some of these methods and illustrate their use in making predictions from the contact electrogram and augmenting predictive modelling tools, both by more rapidly predicting future states of the system and by inferring the parameters of these models from experimental observations.
Handa BS, Roney CH, Houston C, et al., 2018, Analytical approaches for myocardial fibrillation signals, Computers in Biology and Medicine, Vol: 102, Pages: 315-326, ISSN: 0010-4825
Atrial and ventricular fibrillation are complex arrhythmias, and their underlying mechanisms remain widely debated and incompletely understood. This is partly because the electrical signals recorded during myocardial fibrillation are themselves complex and difficult to interpret with simple analytical tools. There are currently a number of analytical approaches to handle fibrillation data. Some of these techniques focus on mapping putative drivers of myocardial fibrillation, such as dominant frequency, organizational index, Shannon entropy and phase mapping. Other techniques focus on mapping the underlying myocardial substrate sustaining fibrillation, such as voltage mapping and complex fractionated electrogram mapping. In this review, we discuss these techniques, their application and their limitations, with reference to our experimental and clinical data. We also describe novel tools including a new algorithm to map microreentrant circuits sustaining fibrillation.
Roney C, Ng FS, Debney M, et al., 2018, Determinants of new wavefront locations in cholinergic atrial fibrillation, EP-Europace, Vol: 20, Pages: iii3-iii15, ISSN: 1099-5129
AimsAtrial fibrillation (AF) wavefront dynamics are complex and difficult to interpret, contributing to uncertainty about the mechanisms that maintain AF. We aimed to investigate the interplay between rotors, wavelets, and focal sources during fibrillation.Methods and resultsArrhythmia wavefront dynamics were analysed for four optically mapped canine cholinergic AF preparations. A bilayer computer model was tuned to experimental preparations, and varied to have (i) fibrosis in both layers or the epicardium only, (ii) different spatial acetylcholine distributions, (iii) different intrinsic action potential duration between layers, and (iv) varied interlayer connectivity. Phase singularities (PSs) were identified and tracked over time to identify rotational drivers. New focal wavefronts were identified using phase contours. Phase singularity density and new wavefront locations were calculated during AF. There was a single dominant mechanism for sustaining AF in each of the preparations, either a rotational driver or repetitive new focal wavefronts. High-density PS sites existed preferentially around the pulmonary vein junctions. Three of the four preparations exhibited stable preferential sites of new wavefronts. Computational simulations predict that only a small number of connections are functionally important in sustaining AF, with new wavefront locations determined by the interplay between fibrosis distribution, acetylcholine concentration, and heterogeneity in repolarization within layers.ConclusionWe were able to identify preferential sites of new wavefront initiation and rotational activity, in order to determine the mechanisms sustaining AF. Electrical measurements should be interpreted differently according to whether they are endocardial or epicardial recordings.
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