Background Heart failure (HF) causes atrial remodeling and increases the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF). Renal denervation (RDN) has been shown to decrease the development of AF. This study aimed to identify the effects of RDN on the atrial arrhythmogenic substrates in HF. Methods Rabbits were classified into four groups: control (n = 9), RDN (n = 10), HF (n = 6) and HF-RDN (n = 9). Surgical and chemical RDN was approached through bilateral retroperitoneal flank incisions in RDN and HF-RDN. Rapid ventricular pacing of 400 bpm for 4 weeks was applied in HF and HF-RDN. After 4 weeks, the rabbits were sacrificed and atrial myocardium were harvested for Western blot and Trichrome stain. Results The bi-atrial effective refractory period (ERP) of HF was significantly longer compared with that of control and RDN. In right atrium, the ERP of HF was also significantly longer compared with that of HF-RDN, but there was no significant difference in left atrial ERP. In bi-atrium, ion channel protein expressions of CaV1.2, NaV1.5, Kir2.1 SERCA2 and NCX were similar among 4 groups. However, the degree of atrial fibrosis was extensive in bi-atrium of HF, when compared to that of control, RDN and HF-RDN. Conclusion The ERP of HF-RDN is partially shortened by RDN compared with that of HF. There are no differences ionic channel protein expressions in bi-atrium among all groups. The degree of atrial fibrosis is severe in HF, but not in HF-RDN, suggesting that RDN may regulate the atrial arrhythmogenic substrates in HF mostly through reverse structural remodeling.
- Atrial arrhythmogenic substrates
- Atrial structural remodeling
- Renal denervation
- Sympathetic nervous system