Conduction and refractory disorders in the diabetic atrium

Masaya Watanabe, Hisashi Yokoshiki, Hirofumi Mitsuyama, Kazuya Mizukami, Taisuke Ono, Hiroyuki Tsutsui

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk of atrial fibrillation. However, its arrhythmogenic substrates remain unclear. This study sought to examine the precise propagation and the spatiotemporal dispersion of the action potential (AP) in the diabetic atrium. DM was induced by streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) in 8-wk-old male Wister rats. Optical mapping and histological analysis were performed in the right atrium (RA) from control (n = 26) and DM (n = 27) rats after 16 wk. Rate-dependent alterations of conduction velocity (CV) and its heterogeneity and the spatial distribution of AP were measured in RA using optical mapping. The duration of atrial tachyarrhythmia (AT) induced by rapid atrial stimulation was longer in DM (2.4 ± 0.6 vs. 0.9 ± 0.3 s, P < 0.05). CV was decreased, and its heterogeneity was greater in DM than control. Average action potential duration of 80% repolarization (APD80) at pacing cycle length (PCL) of 200 ms from four areas within the RA was prolonged (53 ± 2 vs. 40 ± 3 ms, P < 0.01), and the coefficient of variation of APD80 was greater in DM than control (0.20 ± 0.02 vs. 0.15 ± 0.01%, P < 0.05). The ratio of APD80 at PCL shorter than 200 ms to that at 200 ms was smaller (P < 0.001), and the incidence of APD alternans was higher in DM than control (100 vs. 0%, P < 0.001). Interstitial fibrosis was greater and connexin 40 expression was lower in DM than control. The remodeling of the diabetic atrium was characterized as follows: greater vulnerability to AT, increased conduction slowing and its heterogeneity, the prolongation of APD, the increase in spatial dispersion and frequency-dependent shortening of APD, and increased incidence of APD alternans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H86-H95
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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