We assessed in vivo interstitial norepinephrine (NE) levels at the sinoatrial node in rabbits, using microdialysis technique. A dialysis probe was implanted adjacent to the sinoatrial node of an anesthetized rabbit and dialysate was sampled during sympathetic nerve stimulation. Atrial dialysate NE concentration correlated well with heart rate. Desipramine significantly increased dialysate NE concentrations both before and during sympathetic nerve stimulation compared with the absence of desipramine. However, desipramine did not affect the relation between heart rate and dialysate NE concentration. These results suggest that atrial dialysate NE level reflects the relative change of NE concentration in the synaptic cleft. Microdialysis is a powerful tool to assess in vivo interstitial NE levels at the sinoatrial node.
- Heart rate
- Sinoatrial node
- Sympathetic nerve terminal activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience