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Cardiac conduction abnormalities in a mouse model of Lyme borreliosis.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Borrelia Burgdorferi (BB) induces cardiac conduction abnormalities in infected humans. Mice models of
Lyme disease have been developed, however their electrophysiologic (EP) properties of conduction are unknown.

METHODS:

Seventy-six C3H/J mice (BB infected and age- and gender-matched controls) underwent blinded in vivo EP studies. In a first phase of the study, 40 male C3H/J mice were divided into 2 groups: Group (A) mice were infected at age 3 (weeks) and studied at 5, and Group (B) mice were infected at 9 and studied at 11. In a second phase, 36 female mice were divided into 2 groups: Group (C) mice were infected at 3 weeks and studied at 5, and Group (D) mice were infected at 3 and studied at 11.

RESULTS:

Infected mice of group (A) and (C) had wider QRS complexes (21.0+/-1.6 versus 17.3+/-1.3ms, p< or =0.0001 and 20.3+/-2.1 versus 18.5+/-1.7, p = 0.05, respectively) compared to the healthy controls (HC). Infected mice of group (B) and group (D) were similar to the HC. In all groups, the presence of conduction abnormalities correlated very closely with the amount of inflammation on pathology.

CONCLUSION:

This study describes the first EP mouse model of
Lyme carditis. C3H/J mice exhibit conduction abnormalities that are reversible 8 weeks after inoculation, closely paralleling the resolution of inflammation on pathology. This model can be a valuable tool in the developing and testing of new modalities for the prevention and treatment of
Lyme carditis.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2001 Jun;5(2):137-43. Comparative Study

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