Subcutaneous nerve stimulation reduces sympathetic nerve activity in ambulatory dogs with myocardial infarction

Yuan Yuan, Ye Zhao, Johnson Wong, Wei Chung Tsai, Zhaolei Jiang, Ryan A. Kabir, Seongwook Han, Changyu Shen, Michael C. Fishbein, Lan S. Chen, Zhenhui Chen, Thomas H. Everett, Peng Sheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Subcutaneous nerve stimulation (ScNS) remodels the stellate ganglion and reduces stellate ganglion nerve activity (SGNA) in dogs. Acute myocardial infarction (MI) increases SGNA through nerve sprouting. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that ScNS remodels the stellate ganglion and reduces SGNA in ambulatory dogs with acute MI. Methods: In the experimental group, a radio transmitter was implanted during the first sterile surgery to record nerve activity and an electrocardiogram, followed by a second sterile surgery to create MI. Dogs then underwent ScNS for 2 months. The average SGNA (aSGNA) was compared with that in a historical control group (n = 9), with acute MI monitored for 2 months without ScNS. Results: In the experimental group, the baseline aSGNA and heart rate were 4.08±0.35 μV and 98±12 beats/min, respectively. They increased within 1 week after MI to 6.91±1.91 μV (P=.007) and 107±10 beats/min (P=.028), respectively. ScNS reduced aSGNA to 3.46±0.44 μV (P<.039) and 2.14±0.50 μV (P<.001) at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively, after MI. In comparison, aSGNA at 4 and 8 weeks in dogs with MI but no ScNS was 8.26±6.31 μV (P=.005) and 10.82±7.86 μV (P=0002), respectively. Immunostaining showed confluent areas of remodeling in bilateral stellate ganglia and a high percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase–negative ganglion cells. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling was positive in 26.61%±11.54% of ganglion cells in the left stellate ganglion and 15.94%±3.62% of ganglion cells in the right stellate ganglion. Conclusion: ScNS remodels the stellate ganglion, reduces SGNA, and suppresses cardiac nerve sprouting after acute MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1175
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiac nerve sprouting
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Immunostaining
  • Stellate ganglion nerve activity
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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