Right ventricular pacing in lightly anaesthetized dogs (4 x 5 min periods at a pacing rate of 220 beats/min) protects against the consequences of coronary artery occlusion when this is initiated 24 h after the pacing stimulus. The main purpose of the present experiments was to determine whether repeating the pacing stimulus, at a time when protection from the initial stimulus had faded (48 h), prolonged the protection afforded against ischaemia-induced ventricular arrhythmias and other ischaemic changes (epicardial ST-segment mapping: changes in the degree of electrical inhomogeneity in the ischaemic region). Dogs were paced on two occasions, with a 48 h period between and, at different times (48, 72 and 96 h) after the second pacing stimulus, were re-anaesthetized and subjected to occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. There was a marked reduction in the severity of ischaemia-induced arrhythmias 48 and 72 h after the second pacing stimulus (reduction in occlusion-induced and reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation, e.g. at 72 h 0/11 during occlusion and only 3/11 following reperfusion, compared to 7/21 and 10/21 respectively in the controls: P < 0.05). The protection had disappeared 96 h following the second pacing stimulus. Changes in ST-segment elevation and in the degree of inhomogeneity largely follow ed these changes in the severity of ventricular arrhythmias. The results suggest the possibility of maintaining protection against life-threatening arrhythmias following coronary occlusion by repeating a preconditioning pacing stimulus. We also demonstrate that this prolonged protection afforded by repeated cardiac pacing is mediated by nitric oxide, since the marked antiarrhythmic effect observed, e.g. 72 h after the second pacing stimulus, was abolished when S-(2-aminoethyl)-isothiourea (AEST), a particularly selective inhibitor of iNOS, had been administered before coronary artery occlusion.
- Cardiac pacing
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine