Background: The cardiac late sodium current (INa) has been increasingly implicated in the initiation of atrial fibrillation (AF). Eleclazine (formerly known as GS-6615) is a new selective late INa inhibitor and is undergoing clinical testing for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
Objective: We tested whether late INa inhibition by eleclazine confers protection against atrial premature beats (APBs) and AF.
Methods: In closed-chest anesthetized Yorkshire pigs, epinephrine (2.0 µg/kg, intravenous, bolus over 1 minute) was administered alone to induce APBs (n = 6) or in combination with intrapericardial acetylcholine (0.5-4 mL of 12.5 mM solution) to induce spontaneous AF (n = 11). Effects of eleclazine (0.3 and 0.9 mg/kg, intravenous, over 15 minutes) on APBs and AF were determined.
Results: Epinephrine-induced APBs were reduced >3-fold (P < .04) after eleclazine (0.9 mg/kg) infusion. The combined administration of epinephrine and acetylcholine resulted in AF in all animals tested, which was invariably preceded by APBs. Eleclazine pretreatment suppressed AF in all 7 animals in at least 1 test episode during the 60- to 150-minute observation period (P = .04). The plasma eleclazine level at 120 minutes was 828 ± 45.8 nM, within exposure range evaluated clinically. Eleclazine shortened ventricular QT and atrial PTa intervals by 7% (P < .001 for both) and reduced atrial repolarization alternans (P = .003) and heterogeneity (P = .021) without attenuation of the inotropic response to catecholamine (P = .56). The drug inhibited the enhanced late INa of single atrial myocytes with a potency of 736 ± 67 nM.
Conclusion: Selective cardiac late INa inhibition with eleclazine suppresses autonomically mediated atrial repolarization alternans and heterogeneity, APBs, and AF in an intact porcine model.
Keywords: Acetylcholine; Alternans; Atrial fibrillation; Atrial premature beats; Epinephrine; Heterogeneity; Late sodium current; Repolarization.
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