Sympathetic activation induces asynchronous contraction in awake dogs with regional denervation

D. R. Knight, Y. T. Shen, J. X. Thomas, W. C. Randall, S. F. Vatner

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9 Scopus citations


To determine effects of regional left ventricular (LV) denervation on regional contractile responses to sympathetic activation, dogs with posterior LV wall denervation (posterior wall-denervated group) and dogs with innervated posterior LV walls (intact group) were studied during excitement, exercise, bilateral sympathetic nerve stimulation, and norepinephrine infusion. In intact conscious dogs, all modes of sympathetic activation increased the magnitude and decreased the time of onset of systolic wall thickening (WT) similarly in the anterior and posterior wall. In the denervated group, excitement failed to increase posterior WT during systole but instead elicited asynchronous contraction, i.e., postsystolic WT, as well as delayed onset of contraction. Asynchronous contraction was not observed with excitement after β-adrenergic receptor blockade. Asynchronous contraction of the posterior wall was also observed during the initial phase of exercise in conscious dogs and during bilateral stellate stimulation in anesthetized dogs in the posterior wall-denervated group. In comparison to neural activation, adrenergic receptor activation with norepinephrine (0.2 μg·kg-1·min-1 iv) induced a supersensitive increase in systolic WT in the denervated posterior wall (36 ± 5%) compared with the anterior wall (17 ± 2%) and a delay in the end of contraction in the anterior region. Thus asynchronous contraction can be elicited in dogs with regional LV denervation as a result of an early and enhanced contraction in the innervated region during neural sympathetic activation. The reverse was observed with systemic administration of norepinephrine because of catecholamine supersensitivity in the denervated posterior wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24/2
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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