Female mice actively immunized with human being recombinant Ro/SSA antigens give birth to offspring with numerous conduction abnormalities including complete heart block 11. immune safety, removal of endogenous apoptotic cellular debris, and safety against atherogenesis, malignancy, and autoimmune diseases 2, 3. Specificity, antigenic diversity, and self tolerance are the hallmarks of the adaptive immune system, a vital defense mechanism that involves the interplay of T cells and B cells to produce antibodies against pathogens 4. Production of pathogen-specific antibodies is an sophisticated process that is coupled with a host of tolerance mechanisms to avoid self-destruction. When the mechanisms of physiologic tolerance become deranged, autoimmune diseases may ensue (Number 1). This can happen when autoreactive B cells escape clonal deletion, inhibition by IL-6 and CD40L, receptor editing, anergy, or any of the additional intrinsic and extrinsic regulatory mechanisms that normally protect against autoimmunity (Number 1). Likewise, self-reactive T cells may escape deletion and inactivation, becoming risks to tolerance when they are released into the periphery. Open in a separate window Number 1 Immunologic tolerance and autoimmune diseases. An illustration showing the normal intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of immunologic tolerance. Loss of tolerance results in inappropriate production of autoantibodies and in autoimmune diseases. AUTOIMMUNE MECHANISMS OF CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS Contrary to past assumptions, growing evidence shows that autoantibodies are involved in the development of many cardiovascular disorders 5, 6. Individuals with multi-organ autoimmune diseases are at improved risk for developing cardiovascular diseases 7, with increased cardiovascular mortality, reduced cardiac function, and advanced vascular pathology. In individuals with known autoimmune diseases, abnormal electrocardiographic findings are common. Such as, a study of 50 individuals with progressive systemic sclerosis found that 62% showed severe abnormalities on 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic recordings, including supraventricular tachycardia, conduction disturbances, coupled ventricular extrasystoles, and ventricular tachycardia 8. With this review, we will focus on autoantibodies as a direct cause of bradyarrhythmias, conduction system abnormalities, supraventricular tachyarrhythmias, and ventricular tachyarrhythmias (Number 2). Open in a separate window Number 2 Autoantibodies and cardiac arrhythmias. Autoantibodies known to contribute to the development of bradyarrhythmias (reddish) and tachyarrhythmias (green) are illustrated here. BRADYARRHYTHMIAS AND CONDUCTION ABNORMALITIES Sinus Bradycardia The part of autoantibodies in causing sinus node dysfunction was first shown in 1986 when Maisch et al. found that antibodies against the human being sinus node were present in 29% of 45 individuals with ill sinus syndrome and in 24% of 17 individuals with bradyarrhythmia 9. Since then, more evidence offers emerged assisting the hypothesis that specific antibodies may render sinus nodal function irregular. Sinus bradycardia has been reported in a number of fetuses and newborns of ladies who are positive for anti-Ro/SSA DHMEQ racemate antibodies 9. A review of the medical records from the Research Registry for Neonatal Lupus included 187 children with congenital DHMEQ racemate heart block whose mothers experienced anti-Ro/SSA-La/SSB antibodies. Sinus bradycardia ( 100 bpm) was present in three (3.8%) of 78 fetuses for whom atrial rates were recorded by echocardiogram 10. Autopsy studies in these children showed hypoplastic or absent sinus nodes DHMEQ racemate and the presence of considerable fibrosis 10. Animal studies give support to the hypothesis that disease-specific antibodies are responsible for sinus node dysfunction. CD226 Passive transfer of purified human being IgG comprising anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies from mothers of children with congenital heart block into timed pregnant mice at 11 days of gestation produced significant sinus bradycardia (56% reduction in sinus rate) in 70% of the newborn mice 8, 10, 11. When Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts were perfused with IgG comprising anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies (positive IgG), optical action potential recordings showed the hearts underwent sinus bradycardia before the development of atrioventricular block 8, 10, 11. Patch clamp recordings of isolated rabbit sinus nodal cells showed significant inhibition of ICa,L and ICa,T but not If or IK upon acute exposure to positive IgG 12 (Number 3). Current clamp recordings of these cells showed significant slowing of beat frequencies having a decrease in.