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MDPI, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 7(21), p. 2589, 2020

DOI: 10.3390/ijms21072589



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Electrophysiological Abnormalities in VLCAD Deficient hiPSC-Cardiomyocytes Can Be Improved by Lowering Accumulation of Fatty Acid Oxidation Intermediates

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Patients with very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (VLCADD) can present with life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. The pathophysiological mechanism is unknown. We reprogrammed fibroblasts from one mildly and one severely affected VLCADD patient, into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and differentiated these into cardiomyocytes (VLCADD-CMs). VLCADD-CMs displayed shorter action potentials (APs), more delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs) and higher systolic and diastolic intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) than control CMs. The mitochondrial booster resveratrol mitigated the biochemical, electrophysiological and [Ca2+]i changes in the mild but not in the severe VLCADD-CMs. Accumulation of potentially toxic intermediates of fatty acid oxidation was blocked by substrate reduction with etomoxir. Incubation with etomoxir led to marked prolongation of AP duration and reduced DADs and [Ca2+]i in both VLCADD-CMs. These results provide compelling evidence that reduced accumulation of fatty acid oxidation intermediates, either by enhanced fatty acid oxidation flux through increased mitochondria biogenesis (resveratrol) or by inhibition of fatty acid transport into the mitochondria (etomoxir), rescues pro-arrhythmia defects in VLCADD-CMs and open doors for new treatments.