Autonomic angiotensinergic fibres in the human heart with an efferent sympathetic cophenotype

Bohlender, J.; Nussberger, J.; Tevaearai, H.; Imboden, H. (2015). Autonomic angiotensinergic fibres in the human heart with an efferent sympathetic cophenotype. Annales de cardiologie et d'angéiologie, 64(3), pp. 175-179. Elsevier Masson 10.1016/j.ancard.2015.04.015

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The autonomic innervation of the heart consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibres, and fibres of the intrinsic ganglionated plexus with noradrenaline and acytylcholine as principal neurotransmitters. The fibres co-release neuropeptides to modulate intracardiac neurotransmission by specific presynaptic and postsynaptic receptors. The coexpression of angiotensin II in sympathetic fibres of the human heart and its role are not known so far.


Autopsy specimens of human hearts were studied (n=3; ventricles). Using immunocytological methods, cryostat sections were stained by a murine monoclonal antibody (4B3) directed against angiotensin II and co-stained by polyclonal antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase, a catecholaminergic marker. Visualisation of the antibodies was by confocal light microscopy or laser scanning microscopy.


Angiotensin II-positive autonomic fibres with and without a catecholaminergic cophenotype (hydroxylase-positive) were found in all parts of the human ventricles. In the epicardium, the fibres were grouped in larger bundles of up to 100 and more fibres. They followed the preformed anatomic septa and epicardial vessels towards the myocardium and endocardium where the bundles dissolved and the individual fibres spread between myocytes and within the endocardium. Generally, angiotensinergic fibres showed no synaptic enlargements or only a few if they were also catecholaminergic. The exclusively catechalominergic fibres were characterised by multiple beaded synapses.


The autonomic innervation of the human heart contains angiotensinergic fibres with a sympathetic efferent phenotype and exclusively angiotensinergic fibers representing probably afferents. Angiotensinergic neurotransmission may modulate intracardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic activity and thereby influence cardiac and circulatory function.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiovascular Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Nephrology and Hypertension

UniBE Contributor:

Bohlender, Jürgen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Elsevier Masson




Sara Baumberger

Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2015 09:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:50

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Acetylcholine; Acétylcholine; Angiotensin; Angiotensine; Angiotensinergic; Angiotensinergique; Autonome; Autonomic; Catecholamine; Catécholamine; Cœur; Heart; Humain; Human; Innervation; Noradrenaline; Noradrénaline; Parasympathetic; Paraympathique; Sympathetic; Sympathique




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