Ventricular arrhythmia in chronic heart failure (CHF) is considered to be associated with stimulation of β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs). Three classes of β-ARs have been identified; importantly, distinct from β1 and β2 subtypes, β3-AR could inhibit arrhythmia. Intracellular Ca2+ is considered as a predominant effecter of arrhythmia during heart failure. However, the exact role of β3-AR in arrhythmia and Ca2+ regulation in CHF is not clear yet. Therefore, we studied the effect of BRL37344, a specific β3-AR activator, on CHF-related ventricular arrhythmia and cellular Ca2+ transport. Rabbits with CHF induced by combined aortic insufficiency and aortic constriction were treated with BRL37344 in the presence or absence of β1-AR and β2-AR stimulation. We then evaluated the current produced by sodium calcium exchanger (INCX), an electrical marker of abnormal Ca2+ removal through ion transporter protein sodium calcium exchanger (NCX), Ca2+ transient, a sign of Ca2+ entering the cell, concentration of Ca2+ in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) (SR Ca2+ load) and its abnormal release (SR Ca2+ leak). After treatment with BRL37344, the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias induced by infusion of a β1-AR or β2-AR activator decreased significantly. Similarly, β3-AR stimulation remarkably inhibited increase of INCX, Ca2+ transient, SR Ca2+ load and leak induced by activation of β1-AR or β2-AR. SR59230A, a specific β3-AR blocker, abolished the inhibitory effects of BRL37344. These results suggest that β3-AR activation could inhibit ventricular arrhythmia through regulating intracellular Ca2+. Thus, β3-AR is a feasible therapeutic target that holds promise in the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias in CHF.
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