Differential cardiac responses to unilateral sympathetic nerve stimulation in the isolated innervated rabbit heart

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The heart receives both a left and right sympathetic innervation. Currently there is no description of an in vitro whole heart preparation for comparing the influence of each sympathetic supply on cardiac function. The aim was to establish the viability of using an in vitro model to investigate the effects of left and right sympathetic chain stimulation (LSS/RSS). For this purpose the upper sympathetic chain on each side was isolated and bipolar stimulating electrodes were attached between T2-T3 and electrically insulated from surrounding tissue in a Langendorff innervated rabbit heart preparation (n = 8). Heart rate (HR) was investigated during sinus rhythm, whilst dromotropic, inotropic and ventricular electrophysiological effects were measured during constant pacing (250 bpm). All responses exhibited linear increases with increases in stimulation frequency (2-10 Hz). The change in HR was larger during RSS than LSS (P


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Langendorff heart, Sympathetic innervation, Rabbit, Heterogeneity