Aims We investigated whether neural crest-derived cardiac resident cells contribute to the restoration of intrinsic adrenergic function following transplantation in mice. Transplanted heart shows partial restoration of cardiac adrenergic activity with time. Both the intrinsic cardiac adrenergic system and extrinsic sympathetic re-innervation contribute to neuronal remodelling in the transplanted heart. Little is known about the origin and function of the intrinsic system in the transplanted heart. Methods and results Heart from the protein 0-Cre/Floxed-Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein double-transgenic mouse was transplanted onto the abdominal aorta of the non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mouse to trace the fate of cardiac resident neural crest-derived cells. Sympathetic nerve fibres, which are predominantly localized to the epicardial surface of the heart, disappeared in the transplanted heart. Intramyocardial neural crest cells increased immediately, while neural crest-derived nucleated tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive cells increased over 2 weeks following transplantation. The mRNA expression levels of TH, dopamine-β-hydroxylase and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, and the tissue content of catecholamines in the transplanted hearts increased with time in association with an increase in the number of neural crest-derived nucleated TH-immunoreactive cells and tissue nerve growth factor levels. Iodine-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy showed that the uptake ability of transplanted heart for catecholamines also recovered with time. Finally, the chronotropic response to tyramine both in vivo and ex vivo reappeared 2 weeks after transplantation. Conclusion Neural crest-derived adrenergic cells increased following heart transplantation. The restoration of cardiac sympathetic activities in transplanted heart is tightly coupled with an increase in the number of neural crest-derived adrenergic cells.
- Sympathetic activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)