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      Effects of Metoprolol on Sympathetic Remodeling and Electrical Remodeling at Infarcted Border Zone after Myocardial Infarction in Rabbits


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          Background: The findings of sympathetic remodeling and its electrophysiological implications force us to rerecognize the drugs presently used. The aim of this study was toinvestigate the effects of metoprolol on sympathetic remodeling and electrical remodeling at the infarcted border zone (IBZ) after myocardial infarction (MI). Methods: Forty rabbits were randomly assigned into two groups: MI group (n = 20), ligation of the anterior descending coronary; Metoprolol group (n = 20), ligation of the anterior descending coronary and administration of oral metoprolol 5 mg/kg/day. Eight weeks after surgery, transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR) at baseline, TDR and difference of TDR (ΔTDR) during sympathetic nerve stimulation were measured at the IBZ. The distribution and densities of growth associated protein 43 and tyrosine hydroxylase positive nerves at the IBZ were detected with immunohistochemical techniques. Results: The study was completed in the 36 surviving animals (18 rabbits in each group). The densities of growth associated protein 43 and tyrosine hydroxylase positive nerves in the Metoprolol group (2,550 ± 554 and 1,779 ± 458 µm<sup>2</sup>/mm<sup>2</sup>, respectively) were lower than in the MI group (3,217 ± 589 and 2,616 ± 528 µm<sup>2</sup>/mm<sup>2</sup>, respectively; both p < 0.01). TDR at baseline, TDR and ΔTDR during sympathetic nerve stimulation were shorter in the Metoprolol group than in the MI group (p < 0.01 for all). Conclusion: Metoprolol can inhibit sympathetic remodeling and electrical remodeling at the IBZ after MI. The association of metoprolol with improved electrical remodeling may be partly related to the inhibition of sympathetic remodeling.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Characterization of the peri-infarct zone by contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful predictor of post-myocardial infarction mortality.

          Accurate risk stratification is crucial for effective treatment planning after myocardial infarction (MI). Previous studies suggest that the peri-infarct border zone may be an important arrhythmogenic substrate. In this pilot study, we tested the hypothesis that the extent of the peri-infarct zone quantified by contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is an independent predictor of post-MI mortality. We studied 144 patients with documented coronary artery disease and abnormal myocardial delayed enhancement (MDE) consistent with MI. A computer-assisted, semiautomatic algorithm quantified the total infarct size and divided it into the core and peri-infarct regions based on signal-intensity thresholds (>3 SDs and 2 to 3 SDs above remote normal myocardium, respectively). The peri-infarct zone was normalized as a percentage of the total infarct size (%MDE(periphery)). After a median follow-up of 2.4 years, 29 (20%) patients died. Patients with an above-median %MDE(periphery) were at higher risk for death compared with those with a below-median %MDE(periphery) (28% versus 13%, log-rank P<0.01). Multivariable analysis showed that left ventricular systolic volume index and %MDE(periphery) were the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for %MDE(periphery), 1.45 per 10% increase; P=0.002) and cardiovascular mortality (adjusted HR, 1.51 per 10% increase; P=0.009). Similarly, after adjusting for age and left ventricular ejection fraction, %MDE(periphery) maintained strong and independent associations with all-cause mortality (adjusted HR, 1.42; P=0.005) and cardiovascular mortality (adjusted HR, 1.49; P=0.01). In patients with a prior MI, the extent of the peri-infarct zone characterized by CMR provides incremental prognostic value beyond left ventricular systolic volume index or ejection fraction. Infarct characteristics by CMR may prove to be a unique and valuable noninvasive predictor of post-MI mortality.
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            Relationship between regional cardiac hyperinnervation and ventricular arrhythmia.

            Sympathetic nerve activity is known to be important in ventricular arrhythmogenesis, but there is little information on the relation between the distribution of cardiac sympathetic nerves and the occurrence of spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias in humans. We studied 53 native hearts of transplant recipients, 5 hearts obtained at autopsy of patients who died of noncardiac causes, and 7 ventricular tissues that had been surgically resected from the origin of ventricular tachycardia. The history was reviewed to determine the presence (group 1A) or absence (group 1B) of spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias. Immunocytochemical staining for S100 protein, neurofilament protein, tyrosine hydroxylase, and protein gene product 9.5 was performed to study the distribution and the density of sympathetic nerves. The average left ventricular ejection fraction was 0.22+/-0.07. A total of 30 patients had documented ventricular arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death. A regional increase in sympathetic nerves was observed around the diseased myocardium and blood vessels in all 30 hearts. The density of nerve fibers as determined morphometrically was significantly higher in group 1A patients (total nerve number 19.6+/-11.2/mm(2), total nerve length 3.3+/-3.0 mm/mm(2)) than in group 1B patients (total nerve number 13.5+/-6.1/mm(2), total nerve length 2.0+/-1.1 mm/mm(2), P<0. 05 and P<0.01, respectively). There is an association between a history of spontaneous ventricular arrhythmia and an increased density of sympathetic nerves in patients with severe heart failure. These findings suggest that abnormally increased postinjury sympathetic nerve density may be in part responsible for the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in these patients.
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              Mechanisms of cardiac nerve sprouting after myocardial infarction in dogs.

              Cardiac nerve sprouting and sympathetic hyperinnervation after myocardial infarction (MI) both contribute to arrhythmogenesis and sudden death. However, the mechanisms responsible for nerve sprouting after MI are unclear. The expression of nerve growth factor (NGF), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43), and other nerve markers were studied at the infarcted site, the noninfarcted left ventricle free wall (LVFW), and the left stellate ganglion (LSG) at several time points (30 minutes to 1 month) after MI. Transcardiac (difference between coronary sinus and aorta) NGF levels were also assayed. Acute MI resulted in the immediate elevation of the transcardiac NGF concentration within 3.5 hours after MI, followed by the upregulation of cardiac NGF and GAP43 expression, which was earlier and more pronounced at the infarcted site than the noninfarcted LVFW. However, cardiac nerve sprouting and sympathetic hyperinnervation were more pronounced in the noninfarcted than the infarcted LVFW site and peaked at 1 week after MI. The NGF and GAP43 protein levels significantly increased in the LSG from 3 days (P<0.01 for all) after MI, without a concomitant increase in mRNA. There was persistent elevation of NGF levels in aorta and coronary sinus within 1 month after MI. We conclude MI results in immediate local NGF release, followed by upregulation of NGF and GAP43 expression at the infarcted site. NGF and GAP43 are transported retrogradely to LSG, which triggers nerve sprouting at the noninfarcted LVFW. A rapid and persistent upregulation of NGF and GAP43 expression at the infarcted site underlies the mechanisms of cardiac nerve sprouting after MI.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2007
                01 November 2006
                : 108
                : 3
                : 176-182
                Department of Cardiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuchang, Wuhan, China
                96647 Cardiology 2007;108:176–182
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 37, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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