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

Sex and strain differences in adult mouse cardiac repolarization: importance of androgens.

OBJECTIVE: Gender differences in mouse cardiac repolarization have been reported to be due to the stimulatory action of androgens on the ultrarapid delayed rectifier K(+) current (I(Kur)) and its underlying Kv1.5 channel. To confirm the regulation of ventricular repolarization by androgens, the present study compared two strains of mice (CD-1 and C57BL/6) that present different androgen levels. METHODS AND RESULTS: Measurement of testosterone levels in different strains of mice (CD-1, C57BL/6, C3H and FVB) revealed that male C57BL/6 mice had very low levels of testosterone, whereas males of the other strains displayed normal testosterone levels. Furthermore, whole-cell voltage clamp recordings in isolated ventricular myocytes showed that the current density of I(Kur) in male C57BL/6 mice was similar to that in female mice but smaller with respect to male CD-1 mice. Androgen replacement in male C57BL/6 mice as well as in castrated male CD-1 mice shortened ventricular repolarization, increased I(Kur) current density, and increased expression of Kv1.5 channels. CONCLUSION: Strain and gender differences observed in mouse cardiac repolarization can be explained by different androgen levels. As a consequence, androgens are major regulatory factors in cardiac repolarization and special attention should be paid to the hormonal status of the animal when studying hormonal regulation of cardiac repolarization.[1]


  1. Sex and strain differences in adult mouse cardiac repolarization: importance of androgens. Brouillette, J., Rivard, K., Lizotte, E., Fiset, C. Cardiovasc. Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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