Autonomic dysfunction in experimental autoimmune neuritis: Heart rate

N. Wang, J. Chapman, R. Rabinowitz, S. Viskin, M. Kafri, A. D. Korczyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction occurs in more than half of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) patients and is an important cause of death in the disease. In this study we examined heart rate (HR) changes in an animal model of GBS, experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN), induced by immunization with myelin extracted from bovine spinal roots. The animals developed progressive motor weakness accompanied by significant weight loss and hypothermia. HR was measured in 33 EAN rats at rest (rHR) and followings stressful stimulation (sHR). Average pre-immunization rHR was 341±28 beats per minute (b.p.m.) and sHR was 486±21 bpm. Although the mean rHR in rats with EAN was not significantly different compared to that at baseline, there was a significant increase of variation of rHR with six rats demonstrating bradycardia (<280 b.p.m.) and 10 tachycardia (>400 b.p.m.) (P<0.01, F-test). sHR in EAN rats was significantly lower (P<0.01), suggesting sympathetic system impairment. These findings may serve as a basis for testing treatments of ANS dysfunction in EAN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Sieratzki Chair of Neurology, Tel Aviv University, and the Miriam Turjanski de Gold and Dr Roberto Gold Fund for Neurological Research. This work is part of the PhD thesis of N. Wang at Tel Aviv University.


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • ECG
  • Experimental autoimmune neuritis
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Heart rate
  • Nerve conduction velocity
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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