PloS one

Nicorandil prevents Gαq-induced progressive heart failure and ventricular arrhythmias in transgenic mice.

PMID 23285142


Beneficial effects of nicorandil on the treatment of hypertensive heart failure (HF) and ischemic heart disease have been suggested. However, whether nicorandil has inhibitory effects on HF and ventricular arrhythmias caused by the activation of G protein alpha q (Gα(q)) -coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling still remains unknown. We investigated these inhibitory effects of nicorandil in transgenic mice with transient cardiac expression of activated Gα(q) (Gα(q)-TG). Nicorandil (6 mg/kg/day) or vehicle was chronically administered to Gα(q)-TG from 8 to 32 weeks of age, and all experiments were performed in mice at the age of 32 weeks. Chronic nicorandil administration prevented the severe reduction of left ventricular fractional shortening and inhibited ventricular interstitial fibrosis in Gα(q)-TG. SUR-2B and SERCA2 gene expression was decreased in vehicle-treated Gα(q)-TG but not in nicorandil-treated Gα(q)-TG. eNOS gene expression was also increased in nicorandil-treated Gα(q)-TG compared with vehicle-treated Gα(q)-TG. Electrocardiogram demonstrated that premature ventricular contraction (PVC) was frequently (more than 20 beats/min) observed in 7 of 10 vehicle-treated Gα(q)-TG but in none of 10 nicorandil-treated Gα(q)-TG. The QT interval was significantly shorter in nicorandil-treated Gα(q)-TG than vehicle-treated Gα(q)-TG. Acute nicorandil administration shortened ventricular monophasic action potential duration and reduced the number of PVCs in Langendorff-perfused Gα(q)-TG mouse hearts. Moreover, HMR1098, a blocker of cardiac sarcolemmal K(ATP) channels, significantly attenuated the shortening of MAP duration induced by nicorandil in the Gα(q)-TG heart. These findings suggest that nicorandil can prevent the development of HF and ventricular arrhythmia caused by the activation of GPCR signaling through the shortening of the QT interval, action potential duration, the normalization of SERCA2 gene expression. Nicorandil may also improve the impaired coronary circulation during HF.

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Nicorandil, ≥98% (HPLC)