Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Nitric oxide (NO) generated from neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS-1) in intrinsic cardiac ganglia has been implicated in parasympathetic-induced bradycardia. We provide direct evidence that NOS-1 acts in a site-specific manner to promote cardiac vagal neurotransmission and bradycardia. NOS-1 gene transfer to the guinea pig right atrium increased protein expression and NOS-1 immunolocalization in cholinergic ganglia. It also increased the release of acetylcholine and enhanced the heart rate (HR) response to vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) in vitro and in vivo. NOS inhibition normalized the HR response to VNS in the NOS-1-treated group compared with the control groups (enhanced green fluorescent protein and sham) in vitro. In contrast, an acetylcholine analogue reduced HR to the same extent in all groups before and during NOS inhibition. These results demonstrate that NOS-1-derived NO acts presynaptically to facilitate vagally induced bradycardia and that upregulation of NOS-1 via gene transfer may provide a novel method for increasing cardiac vagal function.


Journal article


Circ Res

Publication Date





1089 - 1091


Acetylcholine, Adenoviridae, Animals, Bradycardia, Electric Stimulation, Enzyme Inhibitors, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genes, Reporter, Genetic Vectors, Guinea Pigs, Heart Atria, Heart Rate, In Vitro Techniques, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I, Synaptic Transmission, Up-Regulation, Vagus Nerve