The cardiac sympathetic co-transmitter neuropeptide Y is pro-arrhythmic following ST-elevation myocardial infarction despite beta-blockade.
Kalla M., Hao G., Tapoulal N., Tomek J., Liu K., Woodward L., Oxford Acute Myocardial Infarction (OxAMI) Study None., Dall'Armellina E., Banning AP., Choudhury RP., Neubauer S., Kharbanda RK., Channon KM., Ajijola OA., Shivkumar K., Paterson DJ., Herring N.
AIMS: ST-elevation myocardial infarction is associated with high levels of cardiac sympathetic drive and release of the co-transmitter neuropeptide Y (NPY). We hypothesized that despite beta-blockade, NPY promotes arrhythmogenesis via ventricular myocyte receptors. METHODS AND RESULTS: In 78 patients treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention, sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) or fibrillation (VF) occurred in 6 (7.7%) within 48 h. These patients had significantly (P < 0.05) higher venous NPY levels despite the absence of classical risk factors including late presentation, larger infarct size, and beta-blocker usage. Receiver operating curve identified an NPY threshold of 27.3 pg/mL with a sensitivity of 0.83 and a specificity of 0.71. RT-qPCR demonstrated the presence of NPY mRNA in both human and rat stellate ganglia. In the isolated Langendorff perfused rat heart, prolonged (10 Hz, 2 min) stimulation of the stellate ganglia caused significant NPY release. Despite maximal beta-blockade with metoprolol (10 μmol/L), optical mapping of ventricular voltage and calcium (using RH237 and Rhod2) demonstrated an increase in magnitude and shortening in duration of the calcium transient and a significant lowering of ventricular fibrillation threshold. These effects were prevented by the Y1 receptor antagonist BIBO3304 (1 μmol/L). Neuropeptide Y (250 nmol/L) significantly increased the incidence of VT/VF (60% vs. 10%) during experimental ST-elevation ischaemia and reperfusion compared to control, and this could also be prevented by BIBO3304. CONCLUSIONS: The co-transmitter NPY is released during sympathetic stimulation and acts as a novel arrhythmic trigger. Drugs inhibiting the Y1 receptor work synergistically with beta-blockade as a new anti-arrhythmic therapy.