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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) participate in atrial remodeling and atrial fibrillation (AF) promotion. We determined the circulating miRNA profile in patients with AF and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), and its potential role in promoting the arrhythmia. In plasma of 98 patients with HFrEF (49 with AF and 49 in sinus rhythm, SR), differential miRNA expression was determined by high-throughput microarray analysis followed by replication of selected candidates. Validated miRNAs were determined in human atrial samples, and potential arrhythmogenic mechanisms studied in HL-1 cells. Circulating miR-199a-5p and miR-22-5p were significantly increased in HFrEF patients with AF versus those with HFrEF in SR. Both miRNAs, but particularly miR-199a-5p, were increased in atrial samples of patients with AF. Overexpression of both miRNAs in HL-1 cells resulted in decreased protein levels of L-type Ca2+ channel, NCX and connexin-40, leading to lower basal intracellular Ca2+ levels, fewer inward currents, a moderate reduction in Ca2+ buffering post-caffeine exposure, and a deficient cell-to-cell communication. In conclusion, circulating miR-199a-5p and miR-22-5p are higher in HFrEF patients with AF, with similar findings in human atrial samples of AF patients. Cells exposed to both miRNAs exhibited altered Ca2+ handling and defective cell-to-cell communication, both findings being potential arrhythmogenic mechanisms.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Molecular Sciences



Publication Date





10377 - 10377