© 2017 The Authors. Background--With chronic ischemia after myocardial infarction, the resulting scar tissue result in electrical and structural remodeling vulnerable to an arrhythmogenic substrate. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway elicited by vagal nerve via α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChR) can modulate local and systemic inflammatory responses. Here, we aimed to clarify a novel mechanism for the antiarrhythmogenic properties of vagal nerve during the ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). Methods and Results--Left anterior descending artery of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats was ligated for 4 weeks to develop ICM. Western blot revealed that eliciting the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway by nicotine treatment showed a significant reduction in the amounts of collagens, cytokines, and other inflammatory mediators in the left ventricular infarcted border zone via inhibited NF-κB activation, whereas it increased the phosphorylated connexin 43. Vagotomy inhibited the anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrosis, and anti-arrhythmogenic effect of nicotine administration. And immunohistochemistry confirmed that the nicotine administrationinduced increase of connexin 43 was located in intercellular junctions. Furthermore nicotine treatment suppressed NF-κB activation in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, and α-bungarotoxin (an α7-nAChR selective antagonist) partly inhibited the nicotine-treatment effect. In addition, 4-week nicotine administration slightly improved the cardiac function, increased cardiac parasympathetic tone, decreased the prolonged QTc, and decreased the arrhythmia score of programmed electric stimulationinduced ventricular arrhythmia. Conclusions--Eliciting the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway exerts anti-arrhythmogenic effects against ICM-induced ventricular arrhythmia accompanied by downregulation of cytokines, downgenerating of collagens, decrease in sympathetic/ parasympathetic ratio, and prevention of the loss of phosphorylated connexin 43 during ICM. Our findings may suggest a promising therapy for the generation of ICM-induced ventricular arrhythmia by eliciting the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
Wu, S. J., Li, Y. C., Shi, Z. W., Lin, Z. H., Rao, Z. H., Tai, S. C., … Lin, J. F. (2017). Alteration of cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in rat with ischemic cardiomyopathy-modified electrophysiological function of heart. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(9). https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.117.006510