Autonomic Nerves Modulate Pacemaker Activity

The sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system have profound influences on the heart rate. The transmitter substance of the parasympathetic division, acetylcholine (ACh), reduces the heart rate, a negative chronotropic effect, whereas the transmitter substances of the sympathetic division, epinephrine and norepinephrine, increase the heart rate, a positive chronotropic effect. The dashed line in Fig. 11 illustrates the effect of ACh on the SA node. ACh binds to Gi-coupled muscarinic cholinergic receptors, which results in an increase in K+ conductance.

Membrane Potential

Control After

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