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J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Jun;16(6):1342-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01502.x.

Effects of valsartan on ventricular arrhythmia induced by programmed electrical stimulation in rats with myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


The impact of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on electrical remodelling after myocardial infarction (MI) remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of valsartan on incidence of ventricular arrhythmia induced by programmed electrical stimulation (PES) and potential link to changes of myocardial connexins (Cx) 43 expression and distribution in MI rats. Fifty-nine rats were randomly divided into three groups: Sham (n = 20), MI (n = 20) and MI + Val (20 mg/kg/day per gavage, n = 19). After eight weeks, the incidence of PES-induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) and fibrillation (VF) was compared among groups. mRNA and protein expressions of Cx43, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) in the LV border zone (BZ) and non-infarct zone (NIZ) were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. Connexins 43 protein and collagen distribution were examined by immunohistochemistry in BZ and NIZ sections from MI hearts. Valsartan effectively improved the cardiac function, reduced the prolonged QTc (163.7 ± 3.7 msec. versus 177.8 ± 4.5 msec., P < 0.05) after MI and the incidence of VT or VF evoked by PES (21.1% versus 55%, P < 0.05). Angiotensin II type 1 receptor expression was significantly increased in BZ and NIZ sections after MI, which was down-regulated by valsartan. The mRNA and protein expressions of Cx43 in BZ were significantly reduced after MI and up-regulated by valsartan. Increased collagen deposition and reduced Cx43 expression in BZ after MI could be partly attenuated by Valsartan. Valsartan reduced the incidence of PES-induced ventricular arrhythmia, this effect was possibly through modulating the myocardial AT1R and Cx43 expression.

© 2012 The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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