Decreased cardiac catecholamines were observed following incision and repair of the pericardium in sham-operated vs. unoperated control dogs. Animals were assigned to five groups: unoperated, sham-operated intact pericardia, open pericardia, sutured pericardia and complete ventricular sympathectomy. Hearts were collected four weeks after surgery. Sympathectomy decreased catecholamine content when compared to all other groups. Hearts with open/sutured pericardia contained significantly less catecholamines than controls. When the pericardium was intact or left open following incision, cardiac catecholamines were unchanged compared to unoperated controls. Since opioid peptides are colocalized with catecholamines, we measured met-enkephalin and met-enkephalin-arg-phe, proenkephalin A peptide products, in parallel samples. Similar to norepinephrine, met-enkephalin was decreased following both sympathectomy and pericardial repair. However, met-enkephalin-arg-phe, which may be more associated with the myocardium than its innervation, was not changed by any treatment. The sutured pericardium more than the stress of surgery apparently alters the tissue catecholamines and enkephalin. This may have resulted from the mechanical friction at the site of repair. Epinephrine and met-enkephalin contents in sympathectomized hearts were significantly lower than unoperated controls but were not significantly different from the intermediate values observed in the sutured group. The functional consequences of these changes on neuroendocrine status are unclear and will require further evaluation. The results also emphasize the need for careful attention to proper controls for surgical studies.
Regulatory Peptides – Elsevier
Published: Nov 10, 1995
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