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Agnieszka Noszczyk-Nowak, Maciej Zacharski and Marcin Michałek


Introduction: In recent years, the high sensitivity and specificity of novel miRNA biomarkers have been utilised for early diagnosis and treatment monitoring of various diseases. Previous reports showed that abnormal expression of miR-208 in mice resulted in the development of an aberrant cardiac conduction system and consecutive arrhythmias. On the other hand, a study on infarcted human heart tissue showed upregulation of miR-208a in subjects with ventricular tachyarrhythmias compared to healthy controls. We prospectively investigated the expression of miR-208a and -208b in the serum of dogs presenting different cardiac arrhythmias.

Material and Methods: A total of 28 dogs with atrial fibrillation (n = 8), ventricular premature contractions (n=6), conduction system disturbances (n = 7), and free of heart conditions (as controls) (n = 7) were enrolled in the study. Total RNA was extracted from serum samples and miR-208a and -b, miR-16 as well as a cel-miR-39-5p spike-in were analysed with qPCR and ddPCR.

Results: miR-208a and miR-208b were not expressed in any of the samples. The calculated ddPCR miR-16 relative expression (normalised with cel-miR-39 spike-in) showed a good correlation (r = 0.82; P < 0.001) with the qPCR results.

Conclusion: This outcome warrants further investigation, possibly focusing on tissue expression of miR-208 in the canine heart.

Open access

Piotr Skrzypczak, Dorota Zyśko, Urszula Pasławska, Agnieszka Noszczyk-Nowak, Adrian Janiszewski, Liliana Kiczak, Jacek Bania, Maciej Zacharski, Alicja Tomaszek, Ilona Rybińska, Józef Nicpoń, Robert Pasławski, Jacek Gajek, Ewa A. Jankowska and Piotr Ponikowski


The aim of the study was to assess the atrioventricular conduction in the model of porcine pacing induced tachycardiomyopathy. Fifty-one swine were examined: 27 were paced and 24 served as a control group. Every 4 weeks, the animals were anaesthetised for 1 h and an ECG Holter was performed. Thirty minutes after the onset of anaesthesia, P-R and R-R intervals were measured. Each result was assigned to the subgroup according to the animal’s weight and the presence or absence of previous pacing. P-R interval was longer in animals after at least 4 weeks of rapid ventricular stimulation than in adjusted group of the animals according to the body mass. Multivariate analysis has showed that longer P-R interval was related to male gender, higher body mass, slower heart rate, and history of previous pacing. Chronic ventricular pacing led to the slowing of atrioventricular conduction. The presence of differences in the duration of R-R intervals between groups was only found in swine weighing 120-139 kg. The R-R interval was shorter in paced animals, whereas PR interval was longer in that group, indicating that PR prolongation is related to electrical or structural remodelling of the cardiac conductive tissue but not increased sympathetic nervous system activity, which is expected to produce corresponding changes in PR and R-R intervals.