ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

The Role of Cardiac Ganglia in the Prevention of Coronary Atherosclerosis: An Analytical Examination of Cholesterol-fed Rabbits
Yavuzer Koza1, Mehmet Dumlu Aydın2, Ednan Bayram1, Sare Sipal3, Ender Altaş4, Celaleddin Soyalp5, Enise Armağan Koza6
1Department of Cardiology, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey
2Department of Neurosurgery, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey
3Department of Pathology, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey
4Clinic of Cardiology, Erzurum Training and Research Hospital, Erzurum, Turkey
5Department of Anesthesiology, 100. Yıl University School of Medicine, Van, Turkey
6Clinic of Anesthesiology, Erzurum Training and Research Hospital, Erzurum, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2019.2019.8.97
Pages : 79-83


Background: The heart is innervated by the autonomic nervous system, which contributes to the control of the heart’s rhythm and coronary circulation. It has been suggested that the cardiac fibers of the vagus nerve play important roles in controlling circulatory functions and in protecting against atherosclerotic pathologies in coronary arteries.
Aims: To investigate the presence of atherosclerotic differences in the coronary arteries of cholesterol-fed rabbits by measuring the density of cardiac ganglia neurons.
Study Design: Animal experiment.
Methods: This study was conducted using 45 male rabbits. Over a period of 16 weeks, they were kept on an atherogenic diet of water ad libitum and high fat (8.6%) containing saturated fatty acids with 205 mg/kg of cholesterol (1%) per day. Then, their hearts were removed and examined by histopathological methods. Atherosclerotic plaques of the main coronary arteries were examined using the Cavalieri method. Atherosclerosis index values (AIVs) were estimated as the wall surface area/plaque surface area, and the results were analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests.
Results: While the average atherosclerosis index value was estimated to be ≤8% in 21 animals, the atherosclerosis index value was 9-20% in animals with minor plaque detection (n=11) and ≥20% in animals with major plaque detection (n=10). Increased atherosclerosis index values were more common in animals with low neuron densities than in animals with high neuron densities (p<0.017).
Conclusion: The low neuron density of the cardiac ganglia in cholesterol-fed rabbits is associated with an increased atherosclerotic plaque incidence and volume.

Keywords : Cardiac ganglia, coronary atherosclerosis, rabbits, vagal nerve
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