This study tested the hypothesis that sympathetic neural stimulation increases the prevalence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation and explored the mechanisms by which this occurs and how it may be prevented. In anesthetized, autonomically denervated dogs, we examined the effects of bilateral ansae subclaviae stimulation (SS) and of induction of pericardial biosynthesis of prostaglandins, an intervention that reduces SS effects by acting at presynaptic sites. A 5-minute occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery distal to the first or second diagonal branch was performed during SS. Heart rate was maintained constant by atrial pacing. In the absence of SS, one of 23 dogs developed ventricular fibrillation during occlusion, and three of the remaining 22 dogs developed ventricular fibrillation upon reperfusion. SS did not increase the prevalence of occlusion-induced ventricular fibrillation (four of 23 dogs) but increased the prevalence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation (12 of the remaining 19 dogs, p=0.01). SS did not affect occlusion-induced decrease in local electrogram amplitude recorded from the ischemic myocardium or myocardial blood flow to the ischemic myocardium during occlusion or reperfusion. SS, however, prevented occlusion-induced increase in diastolic excitability threshold. Instillation into the pericardial cavity of arachidonic acid solution (3 μg/ml) resulted in release of prostacyclin, measured by radioimmunoassay as a stable metabolite 6-ketoprostaglandin F1α (63.1±11.3 ng/ml, n=11, mean±SEM), and of prostaglandin E2 (7.0±0.9 ng/ml, n=11). This pericardial solution blunted SS-induced increase in mean arterial blood pressure and reduced the prevalence of ventricular fibrillation during reperfusion (six dogs to one dog, p<0.05). Blood flow to the ischemic myocardium remained unaffected. Indomethacin, when added to the solution (3 μg/ml), reversed the effects of prostaglandin release and arrhythmia development. These data indicate that efferent sympathetic stimulation during a coronary occlusion and reperfusion sequence increases the prevalence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation that is reduced by pericardial biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Pericardial prostaglandin synthesis may serve as a unique antiarrhythmic function by regulating efferent cardiac sympathetic nerve effects.
- Arrhythmias, reperfusion-induced
- Blood flow, myocardial
- Diastolic excitability threshold
- Sympathetic modulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine