Inhibition of calcineurin and sarcolemmal Ca2+ influx protects cardiac morphology and ventricular function in Kv4.2N transgenic mice

Rajan Sah, Gavin Y. Oudit, The Tin T. Nguyen, Hae W. Lim, Alan D. Wickenden, Gregory J. Wilson, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Peter H. Backx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background - Cardiac-targeted expression of truncated Kv4.2 subunit (Kv4.2N) reduces transient outward current (Ito) density, prolongs action potentials (APs), and enhances contractility in 3- to 4-week-old transgenic mice. By 13 to 15 weeks of age, these mice develop severely impaired cardiac function and signs of heart failure. In this study, we examined whether augmented contractility in Kv4.2N mice results from elevations in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) secondary to AP prolongation and investigated the putative roles of calcineurin activation in heart disease development of Kv4.2N mice. Methods and Results - At 3 to 4 weeks of age, L-type Ca2+ influx and peak [Ca2+]i were significantly elevated in Kv4.2N myocytes compared with control because of AP prolongation. Cardiac calcineurin activity was also significantly elevated in Kv4.2N mice by 5 weeks of age relative to controls and increased progressively as heart disease developed. This was associated with activation of protein kinase C (PKC)-α and PKC-θ but not PKC-ε, as well as increases in β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) and reductions in sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA)-2a expression. Treatment with either cyclosporin A or verapamil prevented increases in heart weight to body weight ratios, interstitial fibrosis, impaired contractility, PKC activation, and changes in the expression patterns of β-MHC and SERCA2a. Conclusions - Our results demonstrate that AP prolongation caused by Ilo reduction results in enhanced Ca2+ cycling and hypercontractility in mice and suggests that elevations in [Ca2+]i via ICa,L and activation of calcineurin play a central role in disease development after Ilo reduction using the Kv4.2N construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1850-1856
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 16 2002


  • Action potentials
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Contractility
  • Ion channels


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