Video4_Mechanistic Insights Into Inflammation-Induced Arrhythmias: A Simulation Study.AVI
Cardiovascular diseases are the primary cause of death of humans, and among these, ventricular arrhythmias are the most common cause of death. There is plausible evidence implicating inflammation in the etiology of ventricular fibrillation (VF). In the case of systemic inflammation caused by an overactive immune response, the induced inflammatory cytokines directly affect the function of ion channels in cardiomyocytes, leading to a prolonged action potential duration (APD). However, the mechanistic links between inflammatory cytokine-induced molecular and cellular influences and inflammation-associated ventricular arrhythmias need to be elucidated. The present study aimed to determine the potential impact of systemic inflammation on ventricular electrophysiology by means of multiscale virtual heart models. The experimental data on the ionic current of three major cytokines [i.e., tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1β), and interleukin-6 (IL-6)] were incorporated into the cell model, and the effects of each cytokine and their combined effect on the cell action potential (AP) were evaluated. Moreover, the integral effect of these cytokines on the conduction of excitation waves was also investigated in a tissue model. The simulation results suggested that inflammatory cytokines significantly prolonged APD, enhanced the transmural and regional repolarization heterogeneities that predispose to arrhythmias, and reduced the adaptability of ventricular tissue to fast heart rates. In addition, simulated pseudo-ECGs showed a prolonged QT interval—a manifestation consistent with clinical observations. In summary, the present study provides new insights into ventricular arrhythmias associated with inflammation.