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  1. Jeevaratnam K, Guzadhur L, Goh YM, Grace AA, Huang CL
    Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2016 Feb;216(2):186-202.
    PMID: 26284956 DOI: 10.1111/apha.12577
    Normal cardiac excitation involves orderly conduction of electrical activation and recovery dependent upon surface membrane, voltage-gated, sodium (Na(+) ) channel α-subunits (Nav 1.5). We summarize experimental studies of physiological and clinical consequences of loss-of-function Na(+) channel mutations. Of these conditions, Brugada syndrome (BrS) and progressive cardiac conduction defect (PCCD) are associated with sudden, often fatal, ventricular tachycardia (VT) or fibrillation. Mouse Scn5a(+/-) hearts replicate important clinical phenotypes modelling these human conditions. The arrhythmic phenotype is associated not only with the primary biophysical change but also with additional, anatomical abnormalities, in turn dependent upon age and sex, each themselves exerting arrhythmic effects. Available evidence suggests a unified binary scheme for the development of arrhythmia in both BrS and PCCD. Previous biophysical studies suggested that Nav 1.5 deficiency produces a background electrophysiological defect compromising conduction, thereby producing an arrhythmic substrate unmasked by flecainide or ajmaline challenge. More recent reports further suggest a progressive decline in conduction velocity and increase in its dispersion particularly in ageing male Nav 1.5 haploinsufficient compared to WT hearts. This appears to involve a selective appearance of slow conduction at the expense of rapidly conducting pathways with changes in their frequency distributions. These changes were related to increased cardiac fibrosis. It is thus the combination of the structural and biophysical changes both accentuating arrhythmic substrate that may produce arrhythmic tendency. This binary scheme explains the combined requirement for separate, biophysical and structural changes, particularly occurring in ageing Nav 1.5 haploinsufficient males in producing clinical arrhythmia.
  2. Khan SA, Sattar MZ, Abdullah NA, Rathore HA, Abdulla MH, Ahmad A, et al.
    Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2015 Jul;214(3):390-401.
    PMID: 25846561 DOI: 10.1111/apha.12499
    AIM:
    This study investigated the role of the renal innervation in arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflex regulation of renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and heart rate (HR) in rats fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity.

    METHODS:
    Rats received either a normal (12% kcal) or high (45% kcal) fat diet for 60 days. On day 61, rats were anesthetized and prepared for recording left RSNA. In one group, the renal nerves remained intact, while in the other, both kidneys were denervated. Baroreflex gain curves for RSNA and HR were generated by increasing and decreasing blood pressure. Low-pressure baroreceptors were challenged by infusing a saline load.

    RESULTS:
    Mean blood pressure was 135 mmHg in the fat-fed and 105 mmHg (P < 0.05) in normal rats. Weight gain, adiposity index and creatinine clearance were 37, 82 and 55% higher (P < 0.05-0.001), but urine flow rate and fractional sodium excretions were 53 and 65% (both P < 0.001) lower, respectively, in the fat-fed compared to normal rats. In fat-fed rats with innervated kidneys, RSNA and HR arterial baroreflex sensitivities were reduced by 73 and 72% (both P < 0.05) but were normal in renally denervated rats. Volume expansion decreased RSNA by 66% (P < 0.001) in normal rats, but not in the intact fat-fed rats and by 51% (P < 0.01) in renally denervated fat-fed rats.

    CONCLUSION:
    Feeding a high-fat diet caused hypertension associated with dysregulation of the arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflexes which was dependent on an intact renal innervation. This suggests that in obese states neural signals arising from the kidney contribute to a deranged autonomic control.

    KEYWORDS:
    baroreflex gain curves; cardiopulmonary reflex; high-fat diet
  3. Abdulla MH, Sattar MA, Khan MA, Abdullah NA, Johns EJ
    Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2009 Mar;195(3):397-404.
    PMID: 19183357 DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2008.01895.x
    This study investigated the influence of angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor and adrenergic blockade on the renal vasoconstrictions caused by Ang II and adrenergic agonists in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).
  4. Khan SA, Sattar MA, Rathore HA, Abdulla MH, Ud Din Ahmad F, Ahmad A, et al.
    Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2014 Mar;210(3):690-700.
    PMID: 24438102 DOI: 10.1111/apha.12237
    There is evidence that in chronic renal failure, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. This study investigated the role of the renal innervation in suppressing high- and low-pressure baroreflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate in cisplatin-induced renal failure.
  5. Khan SA, Sattar MZA, Abdullah NA, Rathore HA, Ahmad A, Abdulla MH, et al.
    Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2017 Dec;221(4):250-265.
    PMID: 28456134 DOI: 10.1111/apha.12891
    AIM: This investigation explored the hypothesis that in obesity an inflammatory response in the kidney contributed to a renal nerve-dependent blunting of the baroreflex regulation of renal sympathetic nerve activity.

    METHODS: Rats received a normal (12% kcal) or high-fat (45% kcal) diet for 8 weeks plus daily injections of vehicle (0.9% NaCl i.p) or tacrolimus (0.25 mg kg-1 day-1 i.p) from weeks 3-8. Following anaesthesia, left renal sympathetic nerve activity was recorded, baroreflex gain curves were generated, by infusing phenylephrine and sodium nitroprusside, and cardiopulmonary baroreceptors challenged by infusing a saline load.

    RESULTS: The high-fat diet elevated weight gain and adiposity index by 89 and 129% (both, P < 0.001). Mean blood pressure (132 ± 4 vs 103 ± 5 mmHg), fractional noradrenaline excretion and creatinine clearance (5.64 ± 0.55 vs 3.32 ± 0.35 mL min-1 kg-1 ) were 28, 77 and 69% higher (all P < 0.05), but urine flow and fractional sodium excretions were 42 and 72% (both P < 0.001) lower compared to normal rats. Plasma and renal TNF-α and IL-6 concentrations were fourfold to fivefold (P < 0.001) and 22 and 20% higher (both, P < 0.05), in obese rats but normalized following tacrolimus. In obese rats, baroreflex sensitivity was reduced by 80% (P < 0.05) but restored by renal denervation or tacrolimus. Volume expansion reduced renal sympathetic nerve activity by 54% (P < 0.001) in normal and obese rats subjected to renal denervation and tacrolimus, but not in obese rats with an intact renal innervation.

    CONCLUSION: Obesity induced a renal inflammation and pointed to this being both the origin of autonomic dysregulation and a potential focus for targeted therapy.

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