New study in rats suggests that nicotine at concentrations found in the blood of smokers may increase atrial vulnerability to inducible atrial tachycardia and atrial fibrillation in normal adult atria with no atrial disease.
Large numbers of Americans still smoke cigarettes or use over-the-counter nicotine products such as patches and gums to satisfy their craving for nicotine. However, serious and sometime fatal cases of atrial fibrillation (AF) have been reported in patients who use a nicotine product. This is particularly true when the individual has smoked while using a nicotine patch. AF is the most common type of disturbance of the normal rhythm of the heart and affects some two million people annually. At its most devastating, AF results in stroke (brain attack) and congestive heart failure. Previous studies have concluded that transdermal nicotine patches should be used cautiously because of the high risk of AF they carry for patients with heart disease.
How specific atrial substrates control and modulate atrial vulnerability, which can induce atrial tachycardia (AT) and AF (AT/AF) in response to acute doses of nicotine, is poorly understood. One substrate known to modulate atrial vulnerability to inducible AT/AF is enhanced atrial interstitial fibrosis, commonly found among the aging. Against this backdrop a team of researchers has hypothesized that nicotine concentrations found in the blood of certain smokers exerts a differential influence on the atria and on different substrates for AT/AF. They tested their hypothesis by determining atrial sensitivity to nicotine by inducible AT/AF in young and old rats.
Conclusions and Discussion
The results of this study show that atrial sensitivity to nicotine for inducible AT/AF is different in young vs. old rats. Nicotine significantly increased atrial vulnerability to inducible AT/AF in the young rats while suppressing AT/AF induction in the old rats, causing complete prevention of inducible AT/AF and high degrees of interartrial conduction block. These results also suggest that nicotine at concentrations found in the blood of smokers (30-85 ng/ml) might increase atrial vulnerability to inducible AT/AF in normal adult atria with no atrial disease.
Limitations of the Study
This study was done using Landendorff-perfused normal young and aged hearts with no other detectable confounding atrial disease. Applicability of these findings to human clinical settings may not be possible – particularly the potential use of nicotine as an anti- AT/AF agent in the aged population -- because of the detrimental effects of nicotine in causing high degrees of interatrial conduction block.
Source: November 2003 edition of the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
Donna Krupa | APS
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.
In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...
27.09.2016 | Event News
23.09.2016 | Event News
20.09.2016 | Event News
27.09.2016 | Life Sciences
27.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.09.2016 | Life Sciences