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Title: Human cardiac innervation : regional distribution, morphology and changes with ageing
Author: Marron, Kevin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 3202
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 1996
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Various studies were designed to assess the contribution of autonomic nerve subpopulations and sensory nerve terminal arborizations to the innervation of the human heart in an attempt to provide insight into the neural modulation of cardiac function and the pathophysiology of human cardiac innervation. Quantitative immunohistochemical techniques were applied to both whole mount preparations and cryostat sections. A heterogenous population of nerve fibres and fascicles was identified in the endocardium and cardiac valves displaying immunoreactivity for the general neural marker protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 as well as neuropeptide Y (NPY), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), somatostatin (SOM), substance P (SP) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. TH- and NPY- immunoreactivites were co-localised whereas AChE activity occurred in a distinct population of nerves. Varicose nerve fibres occurred in close physical proximity to both endocardial and valvar endothelial cells as well as alpha-smooth muscle actin-immunoreactive cells and fibroblasts in valve leaflets. Morphologically distinct nerve terminals, arising from both myelinated and nonmyelinated afferent fibres were identified in the endocardium, epicardium and valves and were preferentially localised to the atrio-venous junctions, coronary sinus, specific valve leaflets, valve vestibules and atrial appendage epicardium. Subpopulations of epicardial nerve terminals also showed a close physical association with mesothelial cells and local ganglia. The majority of cardiac nerve terminals arising from myelinated fibres displayed TH and NPY immunoreactivity. In contrast, the majority of non-myelinated nerve terminals showed acetylcholinesterase activity.
Supervisor: Wharton, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available