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Combined inhibition of key potassium currents has different effects on cardiac repolarization reserve and arrhythmia susceptibility in dogs and rabbits

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A reliable assessment of the pro-arrhythmic potential for drugs in the development phase remains elusive. Rabbits and dogs are commonly used to create models of pro-arrhythmia, but the differences between them with respect to repolarizing potassium currents are poorly understood. We investigated the incidence of drug-induced torsades de pointes (TdP) and measured conventional ECG parameters and the short-term variability of the QT interval (STVQT) following combined pharmacological inhibition of I K1+I Ks and I K1+I Kr in conscious dogs and anesthetized rabbits. A high incidence of TdP was observed following the combined inhibition of I K1+I Ks in dogs (67% vs. 14% in rabbits). Rabbits exhibited higher TdP incidence after inhibition of I K1+I Kr (72% vs. 14% in dogs). Increased TdP incidence was associated with significantly larger STVQT in both models. The relatively different roles of I K1 and I Ks in dog and rabbit repolarization reserve should be taken into account when extrapolating the results from animal models of pro-arrhythmia to humans. A stronger repolarization reserve in dogs (likely due to stronger I K1 and I Ks), and the more human-like susceptibility to arrhythmia of rabbits argues for the preferred use of rabbits in the evaluation of adverse pro-arrhythmic effects.
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Keywords: IK1; IKs; canaux potassiques; cardiac electrophysiology; potassium channels; torsades de pointes; électrophysiologie cardiaque

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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