Utilizing Heart Rate Variability (HRV) for Preclinical Evaluation of Cardiovascular Function & Related Disease

Utilizing Heart Rate Variability (HRV) for Preclinical Evaluation of Cardiovascular Function & Related Disease

Scientists discuss the value and utility of heart rate variability (HRV) as a preclinical tool for studying both cardiovascular, and non-cardiovascular related diseases in small and large animal models.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is a valuable tool used to investigate the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Parasympathetic nerves slow heart rate through the release of acetylcholine. Sympathetic nerves accelerate heart rate and force of contraction through the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from nerve terminals and the adrenal glands. Heart rate and blood pressure spontaneously fluctuate even while resting or during steady-state conditions. HRV allows observation of the specific frequencies resulting from the fluctuations and provides insight to autonomic function. Thus, HRV is a valuable method that can be used to study various cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and hypertension, AND non-cardiovascular related diseases such as stroke, diabetes, alcoholism, cancer, and glaucoma, to name a few. 

In this webinar, sponsored by Data Sciences International, scientists will present case studies investigating HRV using both rodent and large animal telemetry.  First, Emma Karey will discuss how to distill autonomic function from rodent ECG telemetry recordings collected by the Chen lab in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, Davis. Specifically, she will discuss (1) how to identify and interpret the physiological significance of HRV in conscious, freely moving rodents, (2) how to efficiently obtain clean ECG recordings for downstream HRV analysis using select Data Insights software functions, and (3) how reductions in HRV can reflect cardiac dysfunction (in rodent models) that is caused—at least in some part—by changes in the cardiac vagal inputs to the SA node.

Following, John Wollard, Principle Research Technologist from the Lilach Lerman Renovascular Disease Research Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, will present a case study involving a swine model of human disease related to renovascular dysfunction and metabolic syndrome. Specifically, he will share laboratory methodology, best-practices and preliminary data showing the value of heart rate variability as it relates to the investigation of metabolic dysfunction and hypercholesterolemia.

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Emma Karey

PhD Candidate,
Dr. Chao-Yin Chen Lab,
UC Davis

Emma Karey is a fourth year Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD candidate in Dr. Chao-Yin Chen’s laboratory in the department of Pharmacology at UC Davis. Emma’s research focuses on examining central mechanisms through which exposure to air pollution impairs autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system in rodent models. She is particularly interested in how exposure to environmental cigarette smoke and e-cigarette impairs cardiac vagal neuronal excitability, resulting in a reduced heart rate variability and increased cardiovascular consequences.

John Woollard

Principal Research Technologist
Lilach Lerman Research Laboratory
Mayo Clinic

John Woollard is a Principle Research Technologist in the Lilach Lerman Renovascular Disease Research Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. He is part of the team that studies the development and application of techniques to study renal and cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology in animal models and in humans. Focus areas include the development, interpretation, and implementation of physiologic imaging and image analysis techniques using multi-detector CT and MRI, development and application of cell based therapies for microvascular repair, and the pathophysiology of renovascular disease, hypertension, and cardiac adaptation.