Targeted nonviral gene-based inhibition of Gα i/o-mediated vagal signaling in the posterior left atrium decreases vagal-induced atrial fibrillation

Gary L. Aistrup, Ivan Cokic, Jason Ng, David Gordon, Hemanth Koduri, Suzanne Browne, Dorina Arapi, Yogita Segon, Jacob Goldstein, Abigail Angulo, J. Andrew Wasserstrom, Jeffrey J. Goldberger, Alan H. Kadish, Rishi Arora*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Pharmacologic and ablative therapies for atrial fibrillation (AF) have suboptimal efficacy. Newer gene-based approaches that target specific mechanisms underlying AF are likely to be more efficacious in treating AF. Parasympathetic signaling appears to be an important contributor to AF substrate. Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop a nonviral gene-based strategy to selectively inhibit vagal signaling in the left atrium and thereby suppress vagal-induced AF. Methods: In eight dogs, plasmid DNA vectors (minigenes) expressing Gα i C-terminal peptide (Gα ictp) was injected in the posterior left atrium either alone or in combination with minigene expressing Gα octp, followed by electroporation. In five control dogs, minigene expressing scrambled peptide (Gα Rctp) was injected. Vagal- and carbachol-induced left atrial effective refractory periods (ERPs), AF inducibility, and Gα i/octp expression were assessed 3 days following minigene delivery. Results: Vagal stimulation- and carbachol-induced effective refractory period shortening and AF inducibility were significantly attenuated in atria receiving a Gα i2ctp-expressing minigene and were nearly eliminated in atria receiving both Gα i2ctp- and Gα o1ctp- expressing minigenes. Conclusion: Inhibition of both G i and G o proteins is necessary to abrogate vagal-induced AF in the left atrium and can be achieved via constitutive expression of Gα i/octps expressed by nonviral plasmid vectors delivered to the posterior left atrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1722-1729
Number of pages8
JournalHeart rhythm
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial fibrillation inducibility
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Effective refractory period
  • Muscarinic cholinergic receptor
  • Pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins
  • Vagal signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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