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Heart Rhythm ; 20(5 Supplement):S268-S269, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2321882


Background: Aging and binge alcohol abuse are both known as independent risk factors for both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. With the COVID-19 pandemic, increased social isolation has significantly increased alcohol consumption worldwide. Older adults are a high-risk drinking group and alcohol significantly enhances the risk of arrhythmia onset. Yet, how alcohol (a secondary stressor) drives spontaneous atrial and ventricular arrhythmia onset in the aged heart (a primary stressor) remains unclear. Objective(s): We recently reported the stress-response kinase c-jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2) underlies alcohol-enhanced atrial arrhythmia vulnerability (pacing-induced) in healthy young hearts. Here, we reveal a critical role of JNK2 in alcohol-driven arrhythmia onset in the aged heart in vivo. Method(s): Ambulatory ECGs were recorded using wireless telemeters in binge alcohol-exposed aged (24 months) and young mice (2 months). Spontaneous premature atrial and ventricular contractions (PACs, PVCs), atrial and ventricular tachycardia (AT, VT) were quantified as previously described. The role of JNK2 in triggered arrhythmic activities was assessed using a well-evaluated JNK2-specific inhibitor and our unique cardiac-specific MKK7D and MKK7D-JNK2dn mouse models with tamoxifen inducible overexpression of constitutively active MKK7 (a JNK upstream activator) or co-expression of MKK7D and inactive dominant negative JNK2 (JNK2dn). Result(s): We found that binge alcohol exposure in aged mice (n=14) led to spontaneous PACs/PVCs (75% of the mice), and AT/VT episodes (50%) along with a 21% mortality rate. However, alcohol-exposed young (n=5) and non-alcohol-exposed aged mice (n=11) were absent of any spontaneous arrhythmic activities or premature death. Intriguingly, JNK2-specific inhibition in vivo abolished those alcohol-associated triggered activities and mortality in aged mice. The causative role of JNK2 in triggered arrhythmias and premature death was further supported by the high frequency of spontaneous PACs/PVCs and nonsustained AT/VT episodes along with a 50% mortality rate in MKK7D mice (n=10), which was strikingly alleviated in MKK7D-JNK2dn mice (n=5) with cardiac-specific JNK2 competitive inhibition. Conclusion(s): Our findings are the first to reveal that stress kinase JNK2 underlies binge alcohol-evoked atrial and ventricular arrhythmia initiation in aged mice. Modulating JNK2 could be a novel therapeutic strategy to treat and/or prevent binge drinking-evoked cardiac arrhythmias.Copyright © 2023