Modulation of coronary flow and cardiomyocyte size by sensory fibers

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Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Cardiac tissue is densely innervated by sensory neurons that an believed to play important modulatory roles in cardiac functions. In this study, pretreatment of neonate mts with capsaicin was performed. In adult rats, cardiomyocyte size and amount of fibrous tissue in left ventricles as well as in vitro coronary flow were evaluated, the chronotropic and inotropic responses to beta-adrenoceptor agonists (norepinephrine and isoproterenol), muscarinic agonists (carbachol and pilocarpine), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were also investigated with the use of the isolated right atria preparation. Capsaicin pretreatment significantly (P<0.05) reduced both basal coronary flow (18% reduction) and cardiomyocyte size (34% reduction) without affecting the amount of fibrous tissues in the left ventricles. The positive inotropic and chronotropic effects in response to norepinephrine in the isolated rat heart did not significantly differ between control and capsaicin-treated rats, Similarly, the positive chronotropic effects in response to norepinephrine, isoproterenol, and CGRP as well as the negative chronotropic responses to carbachol and pilocarpine in the isolated light atria were not affected by capsaicin pretreatment, Our data are consistent with the suggestion that reductions of both basal coronary flow and cardiomyocyte size seen in hearts from capsaicin-pretreated rats may be consequences of CGRP depletion. The cardiomyocyte size reduction produced by capsaicin treatment may be related to a modulatory role of CGRP as a growth factor.



capsaicin, receptors, muscarinic, receptors, adrenergic, beta, neuropeptides, peptides

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Hypertension. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, v. 34, n. 4, p. 790-794, 1999.