To determine if intrinsic abnormalities of sympathetic nerve function might contribute to enhanced vascular tone in congestive heart failure, chronic myocardial infarction (infarct) was produced in rats by coronary artery ligation 9 to 10 months previously for comparison with animals subjected to sham operation (sham). The excised pulmonary artery, preincubated with 3H-norepinephrine (NE) was superfused, and stimulated electrically at 2, 4, 8 and 16 Hz. The nonnormalized data at each frequency for electrically evoked 3H overflow in excess of basal outflow was similar in sham and infarct vessels (difference not significant); however, the shape of the frequency-response curves was different. The 3H overflow/pulse from sham vessels was constant between 2 and 16 Hz; however, for the infarct vessels there was a significant reduction (p <0.05) at the highest frequency (16 Hz). Because of an 18.4% lower peak 3H overflow at 16 Hz (difference not significant), the infarct frequency-response curve shifted significantly (4 and 8 Hz, p <0.025 and p <0.01) to the left when data were expressed as a percent of peak percent 3H overflow, suggesting an increased sensitivity of the system. These data suggest that an intrinsic vascular sympathetic nerve abnormality is not a major cause of the increased plasma NE in congestive heart failure; increased nerve activity or decreased clearance of NE may be more important.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine