Background: The cardiac troponin T I79N mutation, linked to familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, carries a high risk of sudden cardiac death even in the absence of significant cardiac hypertrophy. The pathology underlying this mechanism has not yet been identified. Aims: To study the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon we characterized the left ventricular (LV) performance of transgenic mice carrying the human troponin T mutation I79N under basal and isoproterenol-induced stress conditions. Methods and results: LV function was analyzed by recording pressure-volume loops using a microconductance catheter. Despite a hypercontractile systolic function under basal conditions TnT-I79N mice showed a diastolic dysfunction indicated by an increase in end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship (EDPVR), a load-independent factor of LV stiffness (0.06 ± 0.01 vs. 0.02 ± 0.01; P < 0.05), when compared to mice expressing human wild-type troponin T (TnT-WT). TnT-I79N mutants developed severe diastolic heart failure and cardiac sudden death under isoproterenol stress. This was prevented after pretreatment with the L-type Ca2+ channel inhibitor diltiazem. Conclusions: Diastolic dysfunction due to increased LV stiffness in TnT-I79N mice leads to severe primary diastolic heart failure and finally to cardiac sudden death, which can be prevented by diltiazem.
- Heart failure
- Sudden death
- Troponin T mutation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine