Sympathetic reinnervation is required for mammalian cardiac regeneration

Ian A. White, Julie Gordon, Wayne Balkan, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Rationale: Although mammalian cardiac regeneration can occur in the neonatal period, the factors involved in this process remain to be established. Because tissue and limb regeneration require concurrent reinnervation by the peripheral nervous system, we hypothesized that cardiac regeneration also requires reinnervation. Objective: To test the hypothesis that reinnervation is required for innate neonatal cardiac regeneration. Methods and Results: We crossed a Wnt1-Cre transgenic mouse with a double-tandem Tomato reporter strain to identify neural crest-derived cell lineages including the peripheral autonomic nerves in the heart. This approach facilitated the precise visualization of subepicardial autonomic nerves in the ventricles using whole mount epifluorescence microscopy. After resection of the left ventricular apex in 2-day-old neonatal mice, sympathetic nerve structures, which envelop the heart under normal conditions, exhibited robust regrowth into the regenerating myocardium. Chemical sympathectomy inhibited sympathetic regrowth and subsequent cardiac regeneration after apical resection significantly (scar size as cross-sectional percentage of viable left ventricular myocardium, n=9; 0.87%±1.4% versus n=6; 14.05±4.4%; P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-994
Number of pages5
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Mice
  • Myocardium
  • Regeneration
  • Sympathectomy
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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