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Isoproterenol exacerbates a long QT phenotype in Kcnq1-deficient neonatal mice: possible roles for human-like Kcnq1 isoform 1 and slow delayed rectifier K+ current.

Björn C Knollmann, Mathew C Casimiro, Alexander N Katchman, Syevda G Sirenko, Tilmann Schober, Qi Rong, Karl Pfeifer, Steven N Ebert

J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 2004 Jul , 310, 311-8

To determine whether the neonatal mouse can serve as a useful model for studying the molecular pharmacological basis of Long QT Syndrome Type 1 (LQT1), which has been linked to mutations in the human KCNQ1 gene, we measured QT intervals from electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings of wild-type (WT) and Kcnq1 knockout (KO) neonates before and after injection with the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist, isoproterenol (0.17 mg/kg, i.p.). Modest but significant increases in JT, QT, and rate-corrected QT (QTc) intervals were found in KO neonates relative to WT siblings during baseline ECG assessments (QTc = 57 +/- 3 ms, n = 22 versus 49 +/- 2 ms, n = 28, respectively, p < 0.05). Moreover, JT, QT, and QTc intervals significantly increased following isoproterenol challenge in the KO (p < 0.01) but not the WT group (p = 0.57). Furthermore, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings show that the slow delayed rectifier K+ current (IKs) was absent in KO but present in WT myocytes, where it was strongly enhanced by isoproterenol. This finding was confirmed by showing that the selective IKs inhibitor, L-735,821, blocked IKs and prolonged action potential duration in WT but not KO hearts. These data demonstrate that disruption of the Kcnq1 gene leads to loss of IKs, resulting in a long QT phenotype that is exacerbated by beta-adrenergic stimulation. This phenotype closely reflects that observed in human LQT1 patients, suggesting that the neonatal mouse serves as a valid model for this condition. This idea is further supported by new RNA data showing that there is a high degree of homology (>88% amino acid identity) between the predominant human and mouse cardiac Kcnq1 isoforms.