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Shortterm vagal nerve stimulation improves left ventricular function following chronic heart failure in rats

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Increasing numbers of animal and clinical investigations have demonstrated the effectiveness of longterm electrical vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) on chronic heart failure (CHF). The present study investigated the effects of shortterm VNS on the hemodynamics of cardiac remodeling and cardiac excitationcontraction coupling (ECP) in an animal model of CHF following a large myocardial infarction. At 3 weeks subsequent to ligation of the left coronary artery, the surviving rats were randomized into vagal and shamstimulated groups. The right vagal nerve of the CHF rats was stimulated for 72 h. The vagal nerve was stimulated with rectangular pulses of 40 ms duration at 1 Hz, 5 V. The treated rats, compared with the untreated rats, had significantly higher left ventricular ejection fraction (54.86±9.73, vs. 45.60±5.51%; P=0.025) and left ventricular fractional shortening (25.31±6.30, vs. 15.42±8.49%; P=0.013), and lower levels of brain natriuretic peptide (10.07±2.63, vs. 19.95±5.22 ng/ml; P=0.001). The improvement in cardiac pumping function was accompanied by a decrease in left ventricular end diastolic volume (1.11±0.50, vs. 1.54±0.57 cm3; P=0.032) and left ventricular end systolic volume (0.50±0.28, vs. 0.87±0.36 cm3; P=0.007). Furthermore, the expression levels of ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA2) were significantly higher in the treated rats compared with the untreated rats (P=0.011 and P=0.001 for RyR2 and SERCA2, respectively). Therefore, VNS was beneficial to the CHF rats through the prevention of cardiac remodeling and improvement of cardiac ECP.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geriatrics, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110004, P.R. China 2: Department of Cardiology Medicine, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110004, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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