Although coronary flow is essential for oxygen supply, which is a prerequisite for cardiac electrical activity, energy metabolism and mechanical performance, the roles of coronary circulation on heat transfer to the heart have received less attention. This study investigated the effects of coronary circulation on epicardial temperature, the effects of temperature on coronary resistance, and the effects of ischemia on temperature fall, using isolated perfused rat or guinea pig hearts. Monophasic action potential (MAP) and epicardial temperature were recorded by a pair of suction electrodes and thermisters, while whole heart conductance (WHC) was estimated by a two-electrode instrument arranged in a diagonal array, under the alteration of the coronary flow rate of perfusate with different temperatures. MAP duration was sensitive to the local temperature, and lowering the temperature caused reduced WHC and increased coronary resistance calculated by dividing perfusion pressure by flow rate. After the onset of ischemia, WHC fell immediately in a single exponential manner, and MAP duration was abbreviated after transient behaviors explained well by the exquisite temperature gradient governed by coronary artery geometry. Epicardial temperature is maintained by coronary circulation in isolated perfused heart. Temperature-sensitive coronary tonus and MAP duration indicate that an exquisite temperature gradient underlies inhomogeneous distributions of coronary flow and electrical property. No-flow ischemia disturbs heat transfer and augments the temperature gradient transiently. Therefore, an isolated perfused heart can be considered as a heat transfer model where thermoregulation is maintained by warm coronary perfusion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering