Research Article| Volume 181, P1-3, April 2014

Highlights in basic autonomic neurosciences: Sympathetic neuroplasticity in the post-ischemic heart

Published:September 26, 2013DOI:
      It has been over 2 decades since Vracko first demonstrated axon sprouting in the ischemic rat and human heart (Vracko et al. 1990 Lab Invest 63:490–501; 1991 Hum Pathol 22: 138–146), and nearly 10 years since Chen, Fishbein, and colleagues revealed its significance in generation of arrhythmias (Zhou et al. 2004 Circ Res 95: 76–83). Subsequent studies have now shed new light on the actual extent and diversity of post-ischemic cardiac neuroplasticity. We now understand that neuroplastic changes are complex, involving both regional sympathetic degeneration and sprouting; that it involves interactions with both inflammatory cells and myocardial cells whose developmental state may be altered; and that plasticity extends beyond the heart, also involving the stellate ganglion. This “Highlights in Autonomic Neuroscience” discusses recent findings on post-ischemic autonomic cardiac plasticity.
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