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Experimental and therapeutic medicine

Beneficial effects of an angiotensin-II receptor blocker on structural atrial reverse-remodeling in a rat model of ischemic heart failure.


PMID 23599726

Abstract

The remodeling of gap junctions may affect their conduction properties and contribute to the maintenance of atrial fibrillation. The significance of the role of angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs) in upstream therapy is not clear. This study was performed to investigate the effects of ARBs on atrial remodeling in a heart failure model. A model of heart failure was established or sham surgery performed in 24 Sprague-Dawley male rats. The rats were divided into sham, heart failure and heart failure-ARB groups. In the ARB group, 30 mg/kg of losartan was administered each day for 4 weeks. Echocardiography was performed at the baseline and 4 weeks following the surgery. An atrial fibrillation induction study and histological and immunohistochemical evaluation were performed 4 weeks after surgery. The increase in the left atrial diameter of the heart failure-ARB group was smaller than that of the heart failure group (P=0.028). The atrial fibrillation inducibility and duration of induced atrial fibrillation were not different between the heart failure and heart failure-ARB groups. Masson's trichrome staining revealed less fibrosis in the heart failure-ARB group compared with the heart failure group. Immunohistochemical staining and western blot analysis for connexin 43 showed a lower expression level in the heart failure-ARB group compared with that in the heart failure group. In a rat model of ischemic heart failure the ARB losartan had structural and histological atrial reverse-remodeling effects. However, its role as an electrical stabilizer requires further study.

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