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Effects of hyperthyroidism on delayed rectifier K+ currents in left and right murine atria.

Ying Hu, S V Penelope Jones, Wolfgang H Dillmann

Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol., 2005 Oct , 289, H1448-55

Hyperthyroidism has been associated with atrial fibrillation (AF); however, hyperthyroidism-induced ion channel changes that may predispose to AF have not been fully elucidated. To understand the electrophysiological changes that occur in left and right atria with hyperthyroidism, the patch-clamp technique was used to compare action potential duration (APD) and whole cell currents in myocytes from left and right atria from both control and hyperthyroid mice. Additionally, RNase protection assays and immunoblotting were performed to evaluate the mRNA and protein expression levels of K(+) channel alpha-subunits in left and right atria. The results showed that 1) in control mice, the APD was shorter and the ultra-rapid delayed rectifier K(+) conductance (I(Kur)) and the sustained delayed rectifier K(+) conductance (I(ss)) were larger in the left than in the right atrium; also, mRNA and protein expression levels of Kv1.5 and Kv2.1 were higher in the left atrium; 2) in hyperthyroid mice, the APD was shortened and I(Kur) and I(ss) were increased in both left and right atrial myocytes, and the protein expression levels of Kv1.5 and Kv2.1 were increased significantly in both atria; and 3) the influence of hyperthyroidism on APD and delayed rectifier K(+) currents was more prominent in right than in left atrium, which minimized the interatrial APD difference. In conclusion, hyperthyroidism resulted in more significant APD shortening and greater delayed rectifier K(+) current increases in the right vs. the left atrium, which can contribute to the propensity for atrial arrhythmia in hyperthyroid heart.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15894573