Background: The presence of circadian variations in sympathetic outflow from the stellate ganglia is unclear. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to continuously record stellate ganglion nerve activity (SGNA) in ambulatory dogs. Methods We performed continuous 24-hour left (N = 3) or bilateral (N = 3) SGNA recordings in normal ambulatory dogs using implanted Data Sciences International transmitters. We also performed simultaneous ECG recording (n = 5) or simultaneous ECG and blood pressure recordings (n = 1). Results: The total duration of continuous ambulatory recording averaged 41.5 ± 16.6 days. Five dogs had persistent stable recording, and one dog developed hardware malfunction in week 3. SGNA was followed immediately (<1 second) by heart rate and blood pressure elevation and a reduced standard deviation of consecutive activation cycle length (SDNN) from 236 ± 93 ms to 121 ± 51 ms (P = 0.007). Heart rate correlated significantly with SGNA. When there was a sudden increase of SGNA, the sudden increase occurred bilaterally in 90% of the episodes. Both heart rate and SGNA showed statistically significant (P <.01) circadian variation. Nadolol (20 mg/day for 5 days) reduced average heart rate from 99 ± 8 bpm at baseline to 88 ± 9 bpm (N = 6, P = .001) but did not significantly alter SGNA. Immunohistochemical staining of the stellate ganglia showed tyrosine hydroxylase-positive ganglion cells and nerves at the recording site. Conclusion: There is a circadian variation in sympathetic outflow from canine stellate ganglia. Circadian variation of SGNA is an important cause of circadian variations of cardiac sympathetic tone.
- Cardiac electrophysiology
- Sympathetic nerve activity