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Postmortem changes in the immunohistochemical demonstration of nerves in human ventricular myocardium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 1998

LOUIS TSUN CHEUNG CHOW
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
WING HING CHOW
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine, Grantham Hospital, Hong Kong
JOSEPH C. K. LEE
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
SHARRON SAU MING CHOW
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
ROBERT H. ANDERSON
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, UK
JOHN A. GOSLING
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Abstract

In order to delineate the effects of death on the immunofluorescence of autonomic nerves supplying the human ventricular myocardium, we studied percutaneous myocardial samples obtained postmortem from 5 individuals within 3 h of death. Subsequent samples were obtained daily from the same individuals up to a total of 5–11 d. The antibodies employed included those against protein gene product 9.5 to demonstrate nervous tissue, dopamine β-hydroxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase to reveal catecholaminergic neural tissue and neuropeptide Y. An indirect immunofluorescence technique using the avidin-biotin method was employed. The density of myocardial protein gene product 9.5 immunoreactive nerves declined on the 7th day, and became markedly diminished by the 11th day. Immunoreactive dopamine β-hydroxylase nerves decreased on the 5th day, and were difficult to idenitify by the 9th day. The density of tyrosine hydroxylase and neuropeptide Y containing nerves rapidly diminished on the 3rd and 4th days, and became undetectable by the 7th and 8th days, respectively. The present results indicate that, depending on the type of antibodies used, immunohistochemical techniques can be used on human hearts obtained up to within 6 d of death to study cardiac innervation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1998

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Footnotes

Presented in part at the XX International Congress of the International Academy of Pathology held in The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, October 9–14, 1994.

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