Electrically-induced ventricular fibrillation alters cardiovascular function and expression of apoptotic and autophagic proteins in rat hearts

Andras Czegledi, Agnes Tosaki, Alexandra Gyongyosi, Rita Zilinyi, Arpad Tosaki, Istvan Lekli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The pathological heart contractions, called arrhythmias, especially ventricular fibrillation (VF), are a prominent feature of many cardiovascular diseases leading to sudden cardiac death. The present investigation evaluates the effect of electrically stimulated VF on cardiac functions related to autophagy and apoptotic mechanisms in isolated working rat hearts. Methods: Each group of hearts was subjected to 0 (Control), 1, 3, or 10 min of spacing-induced VF, followed by 120 min of recovery period and evaluated for cardiac functions, including aortic flow (AF), coronary flow (CF), cardiac output (CO), stroke volume (SV), and heart rate (HR). Hearts were also evaluated for VF effects on infarcted zone magnitude and Western blot analysis was conducted on heart tissue for expression of the apoptotic biomarker cleaved-caspase-3 and the autophagy proteins: p62, P-mTOR/mTOR, LC3BII/LC3BI ratio, and Atg5-12 complexes. Results: Data revealed that VF induced degradation in AF, CF, CO, and SV, which prominently included-variable post-VF capacity for recovery of normal heart rhythm; increased extent of infarcted heart tissue; altered expression of cleaved-caspase-3 suggesting potential for VF-mediated amplification of apoptosis. VF influence on expression of p62, LC3BII/LC3BI, and Atg5-12 proteins was complex, possibly due to differential effects of VF-induced expression on proteins comprising the autophagic program. Conclusions: VF was observed to cause time-dependent changes in autophagy processes, which with additional analysis under ongoing investigations, likely to yield novel therapeutic targets for the prevention of VF and sudden cardiac death.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1628
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Apoptosis and autophagy
  • Cell deaths
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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