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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mice display sex differences in halothane-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

BACKGROUND: Molecularly engineered mice are extensively used as models of cardiovascular diseases, yet little is known about sex differences in the electrophysiology of mouse hearts. METHODS AND RESULTS: This study investigated the influence of sex on drug-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (PVT) in Langendorff-perfused male and female mice hearts (n=54) by injecting a bolus of halothane (1.75 mmol/L) in the perfusate while recording ECGs or optical action potentials (APs). There were no statistically significant differences between male and female hearts (n=54) with respect to mean RR (193+/-5 ms), PR (47+/-1 ms), QT intervals (101+/-3 ms), optical AP durations (APD(75)=23.11+/-4.2 ms), dispersion of refractory periods, and conduction velocities (n=5 male and 5 female). Halothane induced PVTs lasting a mean duration of 90 seconds; in female hearts, 55% of PVTs lasted longer than the median, whereas in male hearts 17% exceeded the mean (P<0.05). The total duration of PVTs exposed a marked sex difference, 378+/-144 seconds in female versus 27+/-10 seconds in male hearts (P<0.05). In optically mapped male hearts, halothane reduced APD(75) (17.61+/-1.6 ms) and then elicited VTs (n=6 of 6), but in female hearts, halothane elicited PVTs (n=1 of 6) or arrested the hearts (n=5 of 6). Except for KCNE1, Northern blots (KCNQ1, MERG, Kv1.5, connexins 40 and 43, TREK1, and TASK1) did not detect sex differences. CONCLUSIONS: This mouse model reveals sex difference in response to a pharmacological challenge yet does not display sex differences in standard electrophysiological parameters. Differences in KCNE1 may contribute to sex differences uncovered by halothane.[1]


  1. Mice display sex differences in halothane-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. Drici, M.D., Baker, L., Plan, P., Barhanin, J., Romey, G., Salama, G. Circulation (2002) [Pubmed]
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