Bacillus anthracis edema but not lethal toxin challenge in rats is associated with depressed myocardial function in hearts isolated and tested in a Langendorff system

Yan Li, Mones Abu-Asab, Junwu Su, Ping Qiu, Jing Feng, Lernik Ohanjanian, Hanish Sampath Kumar, Yvonne Fitz, Peter Q. Eichacker, Xizhong Cui
American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology2015
Although direct myocardial depression has been implicated in the lethal effects of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT), in hearts isolated from healthy rats and perfused under constant pressure, neither LT or edema toxin (ET) in typically lethal concentrations depressed myocardial function. In the present study, we challenged rats with LT and ET and performed in vivo and ex vivo heart measures. Sprague-Dawley rats infused over 24 h with LT (n 94), ET (n 99), or diluent (controls; n 50) were studied at 8, 24, or 48 h. Compared with control rats (all survived), survival rates with LT (56.1%) and ET (37.3%) were reduced (P 0.0001) similarly (P 0.66 for LT vs. ET). LT decreased mean arterial blood pressure from 12 to 20 h (P 0.05), whereas ET decreased it progressively throughout (P 0.05). On echocardiography, LT decreased left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction at 8 and 48 h but increased it at 24 h and decreased cardiac output (P 0.05 for the time interaction or averaged over time). ET decreased systolic and diastolic volumes and increased LV ejection fraction at 24 h (P 0.05). In isolated hearts perfused for 120 min under constant pressure, LT did not significantly alter LV systolic or developed pressures at any time point, whereas ET decreased both of these at 24 h (P 0.0001 initially). ET but not LT progressively increased plasma creatine phosphokinase and cardiac troponin levels (P 0.05). In conclusion, despite echocardiographic changes, in vivo lethal LT challenge did not produce evidence of myocardial depression in isolated rat hearts. While lethal ET challenge did depress isolated heart function, this may have resulted from prior hypotension and ischemia. anthrax;

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