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J Vis Exp. 2011 Sep 13;(55). pii: 3160. doi: 10.3791/3160.

Multiparametric optical mapping of the Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis.

Abstract

Optical imaging and fluorescent probes have significantly advanced research methodology in the field of cardiac electrophysiology in ways that could not have been accomplished by other approaches(1). With the use of the calcium- and voltage-sensitive dyes, optical mapping allows measurement of transmembrane action potentials and calcium transients with high spatial resolution without the physical contact with the tissue. This makes measurements of the cardiac electrical activity possible under many conditions where the use of electrodes is inconvenient or impossible(1). For example, optical recordings provide accurate morphological changes of membrane potential during and immediately after stimulation and defibrillation, while conventional electrode techniques suffer from stimulus-induced artifacts during and after stimuli due to electrode polarization(1). The Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart is one of the most studied models of human heart physiology and pathophysiology. Many types of arrhythmias observed clinically could be recapitulated in the rabbit heart model. It was shown that wave patterns in the rabbit heart during ventricular arrhythmias, determined by effective size of the heart and the wavelength of reentry, are very similar to that in the human heart(2). It was also shown that critical aspects of excitation-contraction (EC) coupling in rabbit myocardium, such as the relative contribution of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), is very similar to human EC coupling(3). Here we present the basic procedures of optical mapping experiments in Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts, including the Langendorff perfusion system setup, the optical mapping systems setup, the isolation and cannulation of the heart, perfusion and dye-staining of the heart, excitation-contraction uncoupling, and collection of optical signals. These methods could be also applied to the heart from species other than rabbit with adjustments to flow rates, optics, solutions, etc. Two optical mapping systems are described. The panoramic mapping system is used to map the entire epicardium of the rabbit heart(4-7). This system provides a global view of the evolution of reentrant circuits during arrhythmogenesis and defibrillation, and has been used to study the mechanisms of arrhythmias and antiarrhythmia therapy(8,9). The dual mapping system is used to map the action potential (AP) and calcium transient (CaT) simultaneously from the same field of view(10-13). This approach has enhanced our understanding of the important role of calcium in the electrical alternans and the induction of arrhythmia(14-16).

PMID:
21946767
PMCID:
PMC3230217
DOI:
10.3791/3160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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