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Nat Med. 2001 Sep;7(9):1021-7.

Abrupt rate accelerations or premature beats cause life-threatening arrhythmias in mice with long-QT3 syndrome.

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Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Deletion of amino-acid residues 1505-1507 (KPQ) in the cardiac SCN5A Na(+) channel causes autosomal dominant prolongation of the electrocardiographic QT interval (long-QT syndrome type 3 or LQT3). Excessive prolongation of the action potential at low heart rates predisposes individuals with LQT3 to fatal arrhythmias, typically at rest or during sleep. Here we report that mice heterozygous for a knock-in KPQ-deletion (SCN5A(Delta/+)) show the essential LQT3 features and spontaneously develop life-threatening polymorphous ventricular arrhythmias. Unexpectedly, sudden accelerations in heart rate or premature beats caused lengthening of the action potential with early afterdepolarization and triggered arrhythmias in Scn5a(Delta/+) mice. Adrenergic agonists normalized the response to rate acceleration in vitro and suppressed arrhythmias upon premature stimulation in vivo. These results show the possible risk of sudden heart-rate accelerations. The Scn5a(Delta/+) mouse with its predisposition for pacing-induced arrhythmia might be useful for the development of new treatments for the LQT3 syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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