Stellate Ganglia and Cardiac Sympathetic Overactivation in Heart Failure

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2 Scopus citations


Heart failure (HF) is a major public health problem worldwide, especially coronary heart disease (myocardial infarction)-induced HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), which accounts for over 50% of all HF cases. An estimated 6 million American adults have HF. As a major feature of HF, cardiac sympathetic overactivation triggers arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, which accounts for nearly 50–60% of mortality in HF patients. Regulation of cardiac sympathetic activation is highly integrated by the regulatory circuitry at multiple levels, including afferent, central, and efferent components of the sympathetic nervous system. Much evidence, from other investigators and us, has confirmed the afferent and central neural mechanisms causing sympathoexcitation in HF. The stellate ganglion is a peripheral sympathetic ganglion formed by the fusion of the 7th cervical and 1st thoracic sympathetic ganglion. As the efferent component of the sympathetic nervous system, cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons located in stellate ganglia provide local neural coordination independent of higher brain centers. Structural and functional impairments of cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons can be involved in cardiac sympathetic overactivation in HF because normally, many effects of the cardiac sympathetic nervous system on cardiac function are mediated via neurotransmitters (e.g., norepinephrine) released from cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons innervating the heart. This review provides an overview of cardiac sympathetic remodeling in stellate ganglia and potential mechanisms and the role of cardiac sympathetic remodeling in cardiac sympathetic overactivation and arrhythmias in HF. Targeting cardiac sympathetic remodeling in stellate ganglia could be a therapeutic strategy against malignant cardiac arrhythmias in HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13311
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • arrhythmia
  • autonomic nervous system
  • cardiac sympathetic activation
  • heart failure
  • inflammation
  • stellate ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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