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The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System and Its Role in Cardiac Pacemaking and Conduction

Developmental Dynamics, National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College, London W12 0NN, UK
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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2020, 7(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd7040054
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 19 November 2020 / Accepted: 20 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
The cardiac autonomic nervous system (CANS) plays a key role for the regulation of cardiac activity with its dysregulation being involved in various heart diseases, such as cardiac arrhythmias. The CANS comprises the extrinsic and intrinsic innervation of the heart. The intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICNS) includes the network of the intracardiac ganglia and interconnecting neurons. The cardiac ganglia contribute to the tight modulation of cardiac electrophysiology, working as a local hub integrating the inputs of the extrinsic innervation and the ICNS. A better understanding of the role of the ICNS for the modulation of the cardiac conduction system will be crucial for targeted therapies of various arrhythmias. We describe the embryonic development, anatomy, and physiology of the ICNS. By correlating the topography of the intracardiac neurons with what is known regarding their biophysical and neurochemical properties, we outline their physiological role in the control of pacemaker activity of the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes. We conclude by highlighting cardiac disorders with a putative involvement of the ICNS and outline open questions that need to be addressed in order to better understand the physiology and pathophysiology of the ICNS. View Full-Text
Keywords: nervous system; development; neural crest cells; innervation; ganglia; sympathetic neurons; parasympathetic neurons; neurotransmitter; neurocardiac junction nervous system; development; neural crest cells; innervation; ganglia; sympathetic neurons; parasympathetic neurons; neurotransmitter; neurocardiac junction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fedele, L.; Brand, T. The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System and Its Role in Cardiac Pacemaking and Conduction. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2020, 7, 54. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd7040054

AMA Style

Fedele L, Brand T. The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System and Its Role in Cardiac Pacemaking and Conduction. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease. 2020; 7(4):54. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd7040054

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fedele, Laura, and Thomas Brand. 2020. "The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System and Its Role in Cardiac Pacemaking and Conduction" Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease 7, no. 4: 54. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd7040054

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