Neurochemical Indices of Autonomic Innervation of Heart in Different Experimental Models of Heart Failure

  • Donald D. Lund
  • Phillip G. Schmid
  • Robert RoskoskiJr.
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 161)


Parasympathetic neural regulation of the failing heart is impaired. In order to investigate parasympathetic mechanisms in experimental heart failure, measurements were made of choline acetyl-transferase CCAT) activity and [3H]-quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) binding in hearts of 1) hamsters with skeletal and cardiac myopathy, 2) dogs with pulmonary artery constriction and tricuspid avulsion, and 3) guinea pigs with pulmonary artery constriction. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activities and norepinephrine levels served as indices of sympathetic innervation. In myopathic hearts, total CAT activity decreased (P<0.05) compared to age-matched controls. In canine and guinea pig right heart failure, total CAT activity was normal in contractile and specialized tissues. Alterations in [3h]-QNB binding paralleled CAT activity being decreased (P<0.05) only in myopathic hearts. In all three models, indices of sympathetic innervation were altered in ways qualitatively different from parasympathetic indices; TH and DBH activities were increased (P<0.05) in myopathic ventricles, decreased (P<0,05) in hypertrophied canine and guinea pig ventricles and non-hypertrophied canine ventricles, and normal in non-hypertrophied guinea pig ventricles. These results indicate that alterations in cardiac parasympathetic indices vary depending on the etiology of heart diseases and differ qualitatively from alterations in sympathetic indices. Selective determinants are necessary to explain the varied changes.


Tyrosine Hydroxylase Sympathetic Innervation Syrian Golden Hamster Circulation Research Cholinergic Muscarinic Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald D. Lund
    • 1
  • Phillip G. Schmid
    • 1
  • Robert RoskoskiJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.VA Medical Center, The Cardiovascular Center, and Departments of Internal Medicine and BiochemistryThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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