LMNA-related dilated cardiomyopathy is an inherited heart disease caused by mutations in the LMNA gene encoding for lamin A/C. The disease is characterized by left ventricular enlargement and impaired systolic function associated with conduction defects and ventricular arrhythmias. We hypothesized that LMNA-mutated patients’ induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) display electrophysiological abnormalities, thus constituting a suitable tool for deciphering the arrhythmogenic mechanisms of the disease, and possibly for developing novel therapeutic modalities. iPSC-CMs were generated from two related patients (father and son) carrying the same E342K mutation in the LMNA gene. Compared to control iPSC-CMs, LMNA-mutated iPSC-CMs exhibited the following electrophysiological abnormalities: (1) decreased spontaneous action potential beat rate and decreased pacemaker current (If) density; (2) prolonged action potential duration and increased L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) density; (3) delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs), arrhythmias and increased beat rate variability; (4) DADs, arrhythmias and cessation of spontaneous firing in response to β-adrenergic stimulation and rapid pacing. Additionally, compared to healthy control, LMNA-mutated iPSC-CMs displayed nuclear morphological irregularities and gene expression alterations. Notably, KB-R7943, a selective inhibitor of the reverse-mode of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, blocked the DADs in LMNA-mutated iPSC-CMs. Our findings demonstrate cellular electrophysiological mechanisms underlying the arrhythmias in LMNA-related dilated cardiomyopathy.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy