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Bonnie Billard Punske

Phone: 801-587-9507
Office: 207 CVRTI

Bonnie Billard Punske

Research Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Cardiology
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


Optical and Electrical Imaging of Genetically Altered Hearts

Current Research

Diabetes affects over 130 million people worldwide. Associated with this disease is a 2 to 6-fold increased risk for cardiovascular disease and a 67% increased risk of cardiac death. As death rates due to cardiovascular disease have decreased in this country by approximately 30% for non-diabetics over the last 30 years, death rates for diabetic men have only decreased 13% and diabetic women have seen an increase of 27%. These numbers reflect the urgent need to understand why the setting of diabetes offers more lethal cardiac outcomes than for other patients. The primary focus of my laboratory is to investigate this lethal link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Working with genetically modified mouse models associated with diabetes, we are applying voltage-sensitive optical imaging, conventional electrical imaging, tissue resistivity measures and measures of calcium and potassium ions to phenotype electrophysiologic changes associated with some specific aspects of diabetes, namely insulin resistance and the down regulation of glucose transport.
One mouse model that we are currently studying was developed and metabolically characterized in the laboratory of E. Dale Abel, MD, Ph.D. at the Eccles Institute for Human Genetics at the University of Utah. It is a cardiomyocyte insulin receptor knock-out (CIRKO) mouse that eliminates insulin signaling in the heart. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown these hearts to exhibit impaired electrical propagation, particularly during ischemia, due to reduced repolarizing currents.
We are also currently studying the effects of glucose levels and insulin signaling on the electrical activity during hypoxic and ischemic conditions in Langendorff perfused isolated mouse hearts. Decreased levels of ATP available to diabetics during ischemia increase the occurrence of ischemic and reperfusion injury and we are characterizing the direct relationship between electrical activity and glucose and insulin availability.

Selected Publications

Lopez-Izquierdo A, Pereira RO, Wende AR, Punske BB, Abel ED, Tristani-Firouzi M, The absence of insulin signaling in the heart induces changes in potassium channel expression and ventricular repolarization. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2014 Mar 1;306(5):H747-54

Sohn K, Wende AR, Abel ED, Moreno AP, Sachse FB, Punske BB, Absence of glucose transporter 4 diminishes electrical activity of mouse hearts during hypoxia. Exp Physiol 2013 Mar;98(3):746-57

Sohn K, Sachse FB, Moreno AP, Ershler PR, Wende AR, Abel ED, Punske BB, The maximal downstroke of epicardial potentials as an index of electrical activity in mouse hearts. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2011 Nov;58(11):3175-83

Sutherland DR, Ni Q, MacLeod RS, Lux RL, Punske BB, Experimental measures of ventricular activation and synchrony. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2008 Dec;31(12):1560-70

Taccardi B, Punske BB, Macchi E, Macleod RS, Ershler PR, Epicardial and intramural excitation during ventricular pacing: effect of myocardial structure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2008 Apr;294(4):H1753-66

Shome S, Lux RL, Punske BB, MacLeod RS, Ischemic preconditioning protects against arrhythmogenesis through maintenance of both active as well as passive electrical properties in ischemic canine hearts. J Electrocardiol 2007 Nov-Dec;40(6 Suppl):S150-9

Liang Q, Sohn K, Punske BB, Propagation and electrical impedance changes due to ischemia, hypoxia and reperfusion in mouse hearts. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2006;1:1560-3

Sutherland DR, Adams J, Punske BB, Methods for accurate measures of total ventricular activation time. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2006;1:3947-9

Taccardi B, Punske BB, Sachse F, Tricoche X, Colli-Franzone P, Pavarino LF, Zabawa C, Intramural activation and repolarization sequences in canine ventricles. Experimental and simulation studies. J Electrocardiol 2005 Oct;38(4 Suppl):131-7

Punske BB, Taccardi B, Steadman B, Ershler PR, England A, Valencik ML, McDonald JA, Litwin SE, Effect of fiber orientation on propagation: electrical mapping of genetically altered mouse hearts. J Electrocardiol 2005 Oct;38(4 Suppl):40-4

MacLeod RS, Shome S, Stinstra J, Punske BB, Hopenfeld B, Mechanisms of ischemia-induced ST-segment changes. J Electrocardiol 2005 Oct;38(4 Suppl):8-13

Punske BB, Rossi S, Ershler P, Rasmussen I, Abel ED, Optical mapping of propagation changes induced by elevated extracellular potassium ion concentration in genetically altered mouse hearts. J Electrocardiol 2004;37 Suppl:128-34

Sachse FB, Steadman BW, B Bridge JH, Punske BB, Taccardi B, Conduction velocity in myocardium modulated by strain: measurement instrumentation and initial results. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2004;5:3593-6

Shome S, Stinstra JG, Hopenfeld B, Punske BB, Macleod RS, A study of the dynamics of cardiac ischemia using experimental and modeling approaches. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2004;5:3585-8

Punske BB, Ni Q, Lux RL, MacLeod RS, Ershler PR, Dustman TJ, Allison MJ, Taccardi B, Spatial methods of epicardial activation time determination in normal hearts. Ann Biomed Eng 2003 Jul-Aug;31(7):781-92

Punske BB, Noninvasive electrical imaging: is it ready for clinical application? J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2003 Jul;14(7):720-1

MacLeod RS, Punske B, Yilmaz B, Shome S, Taccardi , The role of heart rate in myocardial ischemia from restricted coronary perfusion. J Electrocardiol 2001;34 Suppl:43-51

Fuller MS, Sandor G, Punske B, Taccardi B, MacLeod RS, Ershler PR, Green LS, Lux R , Estimates of repolarization dispersion from electrocardiographic measurements. Circulation 2000 Aug 8;102(6):685-91

Fuller MS, Sandor G, Punske B, Taccardi B, MacLeod RS, Ershler PR, Green LS, Lux R , Estimates of repolarization and its dispersion from electrocardiographic measurements: direct epicardial assessment in the canine heart. J Electrocardiol 2000 Apr;33(2):171-80

MacLeod RS, Ni Q, Punske B, Ershler PR, Yilmaz B, Taccardi , Effects of heart position on the body-surface electrocardiogram. J Electrocardiol 2000;33 Suppl:229-37

Ni Q, MacLeod RS, Punske BB, Taccardi B, Computing and visualizing electric potentials and current pathways in the thorax. J Electrocardiol 2000;33 Suppl:189-97

Punske BB, Lux RL, MacLeod RS, Fuller MS, Ershler PR, Dustman TJ, Vyhmeister Y, Taccardi B, Mechanisms of the spatial distribution of QT intervals on the epicardial and body surfaces. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 1999 Dec;10(12):1605-18

Punske BB, Cascio WE, Engle C, Nagle HT, Gettes LS, Johnson TA, Quantitative characterization of epicardial wave fronts during regional ischemia and elevated extracellular potassium ion concentration. Ann Biomed Eng 1998 Nov-Dec;26(6):1010-21

Lux RL, Fuller MS, MacLeod RS, Ershler PR, Punske BB, Taccardi B, Noninvasive indices of repolarization and its dispersion. J Electrocardiol 1999;32 Suppl:153-7

Taccardi B, Punske BB, Lux RL, MacLeod RS, Ershler PR, Dustman TJ, Vyhmeister Y, Useful lessons from body surface mapping. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 1998 Jul;9(7):773-86

Taccardi B, Punske BB, Lux RL, MacLeod R, Ershler PR, Dustman TJ, Ingebrigtsen N, Relationships between myocardial activity and potentials on the ventricular surfaces. J Electrocardiol 1998;30 Suppl:1-4