The sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in the occurrence of ventricular tachycardia (VT). Many patients, however, experience VT despite maximal doses of beta blocker therapy, possibly due to the effects of sympathetic cotransmitters such as neuropeptide Y (NPY). The purpose of this study was to determine, in a porcine model, whether propranolol at doses higher than clinically recommended could block ventricular electrophysiological effects of sympathoexcitation via stellate ganglia stimulation, and if any residual effects are mediated by NPY. Greater release of cardiac NPY was observed at higher sympathetic stimulation frequencies (10 and 20 vs. 4 Hz). Despite treatment with even higher doses of propranolol (1.0 mg/kg), electrophysiological effects of sympathetic stimulation remained, with residual shortening of activation recovery interval (ARI), a surrogate of action potential duration (APD). Adjuvant treatment with the NPY Y1 receptor antagonist BIBO 3304, however, reduced these electrophysiological effects while augmenting inotropy. These data demonstrate that high-dose beta blocker therapy is insufficient to block electrophysiological effects of sympathoexcitation, and a portion of these electrical effects in vivo are mediated by NPY. Y1 receptor blockade may represent a promising adjuvant therapy to beta-adrenergic receptor blockade.
Jonathan D. Hoang, Siamak Salavatian, Naoko Yamaguchi, Mohammed Amer Swid, David Hamon, Marmar Vaseghi