Pathological left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is consistently associated with prolongation of the ventricular action potentials. A number of previous studies, employing various experimental models of hypertrophy, have revealed marked differences in the effects of hypertrophy on action potential duration (APD) between myocytes from endocardial and epicardial layers of the LV free wall. It is not known, however, whether pathological LVH is also accompanied by redistribution of APD among myocytes from the same layer in the LV free wall. In the experiments here, LV epicardial action potential remodeling was examined in a mouse model of decompensated LVH, produced by cardiac-restricted transgenic Gαq overexpression. Confocal linescanning-based optical recordings of propagated action potentials from individual in situ cardiomyocytes across the outer layer of the anterior LV epicardium demonstrated spatially non-uniform action potential prolongation in transgenic hearts, giving rise to alterations in spatial dispersion of epicardial repolarization. Local density and distribution of anti-Cx43 mmune reactivity in Gαq hearts were unchanged compared to wild-type hearts, suggesting preservation of intercellular coupling. Confocal microscopy also revealed heterogeneous disorganization of T-tubules in epicardial cardiomyocytes in situ. These data provide evidence of the existence of significant electrical and structural heterogeneity within the LV epicardial layer of hearts with transgenic Gαq overexpression-induced hypertrophy, and further support the notion that a small portion of electrically well connected LV tissue can maintain dispersion of action potential duration through heterogeneity in the activities of sarcolemmal ionic currents that control repolarization. It remains to be examined whether other experimental models of pathological LVH, including pressure overload LVH, similarly exhibit alterations in T-tubule organization and/or dispersion of repolarization within distinct layers of LV myocardium.
- Electrical remodeling
- In situ confocal microscopy
- Pathological cardiac hypertrophy
- Voltage-sensitive dye