Sema3a maintains normal heart rhythm through sympathetic innervation patterning

Masaki Ieda, Hideaki Kanazawa, Kensuke Kimura, Fumiyuki Hattori, Yasuyo Ieda, Masahiko Taniguchi, Jong Kook Lee, Keisuke Matsumura, Yuichi Tomita, Shunichiro Miyoshi, Kouji Shimoda, Shinji Makino, Motoaki Sano, Itsuo Kodama, Satoshi Ogawa, Keiichi Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)


Sympathetic innervation is critical for effective cardiac function. However, the developmental and regulatory mechanisms determining the density and patterning of cardiac sympathetic innervation remain unclear, as does the role of this innervation in arrhythmogenesis. Here we show that a neural chemorepellent, Sema3a, establishes cardiac sympathetic innervation patterning. Sema3a is abundantly expressed in the trabecular layer in early-stage embryos but is restricted to Purkinje fibers after birth, forming an epicardial-to-endocardial transmural sympathetic innervation patterning. Sema3a-/- mice lacked a cardiac sympathetic innervation gradient and exhibited stellate ganglia malformation, which led to marked sinus bradycardia due to sympathetic dysfunction. Cardiac-specific overexpression of Sema3a in transgenic mice (SemaTG) was associated with reduced sympathetic innervation and attenuation of the epicardial-to-endocardial innervation gradient. SemaTG mice demonstrated sudden death and susceptibility to ventricular tachycardia, due to catecholamine supersensitivity and prolongation of the action potential duration. We conclude that appropriate cardiac Sema3a expression is needed for sympathetic innervation patterning and is critical for heart rate control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalNature medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sema3a maintains normal heart rhythm through sympathetic innervation patterning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this