Aging Disrupts Normal Time-of-Day Variation in Cardiac Electrophysiology

Zhen Wang, Srinivas Tapa, Samantha D. Francis Stuart, Lianguo Wang, Julie Bossuyt, Brian P. Delisle, Crystal M. Ripplinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiac gene expression and arrhythmia occurrence have time-of-day variation; however, daily changes in cardiac electrophysiology, arrhythmia susceptibility, and Ca2+ handling have not been characterized. Furthermore, how these patterns change with age is unknown. Methods: Hearts were isolated during the light (zeitgeber time [ZT] 4 and ZT9) and dark cycle (ZT14 and ZT21) from adult (12-18 weeks) male mice. Hearts from aged (18-20 months) male mice were isolated at ZT4 and ZT14. All hearts were Langendorff-perfused for optical mapping with voltage- A nd Ca2+-sensitive dyes (n=4-7/group). Cardiac gene and protein expression were assessed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (n=4-6/group) and Western blot (n=3-4/group). Results: Adult hearts had the shortest action potential duration (APD) and Ca2+ transient duration (CaTD) at ZT14 (APD80: ZT4: 45.4±4.1 ms; ZT9: 45.1±8.6 ms; ZT14: 34.7±4.2 ms; ZT21: 49.2±7.6 ms, P<0.05 versus ZT4 and ZT21; and CaTD80: ZT4: 70.1±3.3 ms; ZT9: 72.7±2.7 ms; ZT14: 64.3±3.3 ms; ZT21: 74.4±1.2 ms, P<0.05 versus other time points). The pacing frequency at which CaT alternans emerged was faster, and average CaT alternans magnitude was significantly reduced at ZT14 compared with the other time points. There was a trend for decreased spontaneous premature ventricular complexes and pacing-induced ventricular arrhythmias at ZT14, and the hearts at ZT14 had diminished responses to isoproterenol compared with ZT4 (ZT4: 49.5.0±5.6% versus ZT14: 22.7±9.5% decrease in APD, P<0.01). In contrast, aged hearts exhibited no difference between ZT14 and ZT4 in nearly every parameter assessed (except APD80: ZT4: 39.7±1.9 ms versus ZT14: 33.8±3.1 ms, P<0.01). Gene expression of KCNA5 (potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily A member 5; encoding Kv1.5) was increased, whereas gene expression of ADRB1 (encoding β1-adrenergic receptors) was decreased at ZT14 versus ZT4 in adult hearts. No time-of-day changes in expression or phosphorylation of Ca2+ handling proteins (SERCA2 [sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase], RyR2 [ryanodine receptor 2], and PLB [phospholamban]) was found in ex vivo perfused adult isolated hearts. Conclusions: Isolated adult hearts have strong time-of-day variation in cardiac electrophysiology, Ca2+ handling, and adrenergic responsiveness, which is disrupted with age.Â

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere008093
Pages (from-to)1019-1032
Number of pages14
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Heart Association, Inc.


  • action potential
  • aging
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • circadian rhythm
  • isoproterenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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