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Structural organisation and immunohistochemistry of the human intrinsic cardiac nervous system
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
Institute of Anatomy
Prof. Dainius H. Pauža
Prof. Neringa Paužienė
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICNS) plays a crucial role in the regulation of heart rate, atrial and ventricular refractoriness, contractility and coronary blood flow. Evidence suggests that the ICNS modulates intrathoracic and central cardiovascular cardiac reflexes and coordinates parasympathetic and sympathetic efferent postganglionic neuronal outputs to the heart. Morphologically, the ICNS corresponds to the neural ganglionated plexus that may be subdivided according to the layers of heart wall into epicardial, myocardial and endocardial subplexuses. A number of neuroanatomically investigated mammalian models indicate that the intrinsic cardiac neural plexus is a complex of distinct subplexuses, and that the cardiac ganglia are mainly distributed at certain atrial regions around the sinoatrial node, the roots of the venae cavae and pulmonary veins, and in the proximity of the atrioventricular node. Yet, to our knowledge, the topography and architecture of the human cardiac neural plexus have been in the scope of only few published article to date.
What is the aim of the project?
Therefore, the aim of this neuroanatomical study is to (1) ascertain both the topography and the architecture of the human epicardial neural plexus (ENP) and (2) evaluate the gross anatomical differences and similarities of this plexus in humans and other animal models with the objective of assessing the animal hearts for their suitability as models in experimental cardiac electrophysiology and surgery.
What techniques and methods are used?
Student will be able to participate in all research steps, familiarize and practise in taking tissue for investigation, fixation, embeding or frosing (depends on technigue), sectioning, staining, performing immunohistochemical reactions; to learn (or improve skills) to work with variuos microscopes and analyse data.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Student is expected to be always on time - respectful to the tutor and ready to learn. High proficiency of English is recommended. We expect that the student will attend at least 80% of the research exchange - be responsible for his/her actions at the practice and be accountable to the supervisor and LORE/NORE. Basic knowledge in laboratory work would be beneficial.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Student could be asked to read about the research object. There are no lectures or courses planned. Student will be able to integrate into research group and is expected to participate in laboratory work. Student will be able to participate in all research steps, familiarize and practise in taking tissue for investigation, fixation, embedding or frosting (depends on technique), sectioning, staining, performing immunohistochemical reactions; to learn (or improve skills) working with various microscopes and data analysis.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a poster
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Student could be asked to read about research object. There are not lectures or courses planned. Student will be able to integrate into reaserch group and is expected will participate in laboratory work. Student will be able to participate in all research steps, familiarize and practise in taking tissue for investigation, fixation, embeding or frosing (depends on technigue), sectioning, staining, performing immunohistochemical reactions; to learn (or improve skills) to work with variuos microscopes and analyse data.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Rysevaite K; Saburkina I; Pauziene N; Vaitkevicius R; Noujaim SF; Jalife J; et al. Immunohistochemical characterization of the intrinsic cardiac neural plexus in whole-mount mouse heart preparations. Hear Rhythm. 2011 May;8(5):731–8.
- Pauza DH; Rysevaite-Kyguoliene K; Vismantaite J; Brack KE; Inokaitis H; Pauza AG; et al. A combined acetylcholinesterase and immunohistochemical method for precise anatomical analysis of intrinsic cardiac neural structures. Ann Anat. 2014 Dec 1;196(6):430–40.
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