Electrocardiogram Recordings in Anesthetized Mice using Lead II.J Vis Exp. 2020 Jun 20JV
The electrocardiogram is a valuable tool for evaluating the cardiac conduction system. Animal research has helped generate novel genetic and pharmacological information regarding the electrocardiogram. However, making electrocardiogram measurements in small animals in vivo, such as mice, has been challenging. To this end, we used an electrocardiogram recording method in anesthetized mice with many advantages: it is a technically simple procedure, is inexpensive, has short measuring time, and is affordable, even in young mice. Despite the limitations with using anesthesia, comparisons between control and experimental groups can be performed with enhanced sensitivity. We treated mice with agonists and antagonists of the autonomic nervous system to determine the validity of this protocol and compared our results with previous reports. Our ECG protocol detected increased heart rates and QTc intervals on treatment with atropine, decreased heart rates and QTc intervals after carbachol treatment, and higher heart rates and QTc intervals with isoprenaline but did not note any change in ECG parameters on administration of propranolol. These results are supported by previous reports, confirming the reliability of this ECG protocol. Thus, this method can be used as a screening approach to making ECG measurements that otherwise would not be attempted due to high cost and technical difficulties.