J Korean Med Sci.  2016 Apr;31(4):525-534. 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.4.525.

Type 2 Diabetes Induces Prolonged P-wave Duration without Left Atrial Enlargement

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Shenjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China. shengjinglxd@126.com


Prolonged P-wave duration has been observed in diabetes. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The aim of this study was to elucidate the possible mechanisms. A rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was used. P-wave durations were obtained using surface electrocardiography and sizes of the left atrium were determined using echocardiography. Cardiac inward rectifier K+ currents (I(k1)), Na+ currents (I(Na)), and action potentials were recorded from isolated left atrial myocytes using patch clamp techniques. Left atrial tissue specimens were analyzed for total connexin-40 (Cx40) and connexin-43 (Cx43) expression levels on western-blots. Specimens were also analyzed for Cx40 and Cx43 distribution and interstitial fibrosis by immunofluorescent and Masson trichrome staining, respectively. The mean P-wave duration was longer in T2DM rats than in controls; however, the mean left atrial sizes of each group of rats were similar. The densities of I(k1) and I(Na) were unchanged in T2DM rats compared to controls. The action potential duration was longer in T2DM rats, but there was no significant difference in resting membrane potential or action potential amplitude compared to controls. The expression level of Cx40 protein was significantly lower, but Cx43 was unaltered in T2DM rats. However, immunofluorescent labeling of Cx43 showed a significantly enhanced lateralization. Staining showed interstitial fibrosis was greater in T2DM atrial tissue. Prolonged P-wave duration is not dependent on the left atrial size in rats with T2DM. Dysregulation of Cx40 and Cx43 protein expression, as well as fibrosis, might partly account for the prolongation of P-wave duration in T2DM.


Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; P-wave Duration; Sodium Current; Connexin-40; Connexin-43

MeSH Terms

Action Potentials
Blotting, Western
Connexin 43/metabolism
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/*physiopathology
Disease Models, Animal
Heart Atria/*diagnostic imaging/physiopathology
In Vitro Techniques
Membrane Potentials
Microscopy, Fluorescence
Patch-Clamp Techniques
Potassium Channels/metabolism
Rats, Wistar
Connexin 43
Potassium Channels
Full Text Links
  • JKMS
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error