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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine


Jeffrey L. Ardell, Ph.D. FAHA
Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Contact Information:

Jeffry L. Ardell, Ph.D. FAHA
Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center
Director, UCLA Neurocardiology Research Center of Excellence
100 Medical Plaza, Suite 660
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7392

Key Laboratory Personnel:

Marie Southerland, D.V.M., Lab Coordinator and Collaborator

Education and Professional Background:

Dr. Ardell is professor of Biomedical Sciences and Vice Chair for Research at the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, Tennessee.  He received his doctorate at the University of Washington, with post-doctoral training at Michigan State University and at Loyola University.  He is a fellow of the American Heart Association and has been one of the principal investigators in the field of Neurocardiology for last 3 decades.  Dr. Ardell has served on multiple national research and advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration and the American Heart Association. He received the ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Research in 2007.

Research Interest:

• Structure/function of the cardiac nervous system.

• Remodeling of the cardiac nervous system in heart disease.

• Neural targets for therapeutic treatment of heart disease.

My laboratory has been at the forefront in characterizing the structural/functional organization of the peripheral cardiac nervous system, most recently focusing on the intrinsic cardiac nervous system and its multiple interactions with other peripheral autonomic ganglia and the central nervous system for dynamic control of normal and stressed hearts.  Neurons within these intrathoracic autonomic ganglia are likewise modulated by circulating hormones, chief among them being circulating epinephrine and angiotensin II.

The progressive development of cardiac disease is associated with adaptation of these neurohumoral control mechanisms. This adaptation/remodeling involves various components of the cardiac neuroaxis (central and peripheral neurons), hormones, receptors and signal transduction pathways within neural and myocyte-end effectors. We hypothesize that differences exist in autonomic control of the heart before any overt signs of cardiovascular disease occur and such differences critically influence the outcome of the onset of cardiac disease. We further hypothesize that differential remodeling of the cardiac neuron hierarchy (central and peripheral) for reflex control of the heart occurs during the evolution of cardiac disease. Understanding the neuronal reorganization/remodeling that occurs within the peripheral autonomic nervous system and the interactions that occur between this neural remodeling and the remodeling of the myocardium provides us with novel approaches to the development of therapy directed at treating heart disease. Our most recent efforts have centered on elucidating the cardioprotective effects imparted by spinal cord stimulation in the ischemic stressed heart and in reducing the arrhythmogenic substrate evoked by imbalances in nerve inputs to the intrinsic cardiac nervous system.

Active Research Support:

NIH RO1 HL071830 (Ardell, PI)

  Title: Myocardial ischemia remodels the cardiac nervous system.

NIH RO1 HL098589 (Southerland, PI)

  Title: Remodeling of the guinea pig intrinsic cardiac plexus with chronic heart disease

American Heart Association Health Science Fellowship 08151125E (Ardell, PI)

  Title: Medical Student Fellowship Program in Neurocardiology     

Selected Publications: 

Cardinal, R., Page, P.L., Vermeulen, M., Ardell, J.L. and Armour, J.A. Spatially divergent cardiac responses to nicotinic stimulation of ganglionated plexus neurons in the canine heart. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 145:55-62, 2009. 

Ardell, J.L., Cardinal, R., Vermeulen, M. and Armour, J.A. Dorsal spinal cord stimulation obtunds the capacity of intrathoracic extracardiac neurons to transduce myocardial ischemia. Am. J. Physiol., Regul. Interg. Comp. Physiol., 297:R470-R477, 2009. 

Hardwick, J.C., Baran, C.N., Southerland, E.M. and Ardell, J.L. Remodeling of the guinea pig intrinsic cardiac plexus with chronic pressure overload. Am. J. Physiol., Regul. Interg. Comp. Physiol., 297: R859-866, 2009. 

Ardell, J.L. Sensory transduction of the ischemic myocardium. Am. J. Physiol. Heart and Circ., 299:H1753-1754, 2010. 

Ardell, J.L. The cardiac neuronal hierarchy and susceptibility to arrhythmias. Heart Rhythm, 8:590-591, 2011. 

Girasole, A.E., Palmer, C.P., Corrado, S.L., Southerland, E.M., Ardell, J.L. and Hardwick, J.C. Angiotensin II potentiates adrenergic and muscarinic modulation of guinea pig intracardiac neurons. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Interg. Physiol., 301: R1391-1399, 2011. 

Gibbons, D.D., Southerland, E.M., Hoover, D.B., Beaumont, E., Armour, J.A. and Ardell, J.L. Neuromodulation targets intrinsic cardiac neurons to attenuate neuronally-mediated atrial arrhythmias. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Interg. Physiol. 302: R357-364, 2012. 

Southerland, E.M., Gibbons, D.D., Smith, S.B., Sipe, A., Williams, C.A., Beaumont, E., Armour, J.A., Foreman, R.D and Ardell, J.L. Activated cranial cervical neurons affect left ventricular infarct size and the potential for sudden cardiac death. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 169:34-42, 2012. 

Hardwick, J.C., Southerland,E.M., Girasole, A.E., Ryan, S. E., Negrotto, S. and Ardell, J.L. Remodeling of intrinsic cardiac neurons: Effects of β-adrenergic receptor blockade in guinea pig models of heart disease. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Interg. Physiol. 303: R950-R948, 2012. 

Beaumont, E., Salavatian, S., Southerland, E.M., Vinet, A., Jacquemet, V., Armour, J.A. and Ardell, J.L. Network interactions within the canine intrinsic cardiac nervous system: Implications for reflex control of regional cardiac function. J. Physiol., 591: 4515-4533, 2013. 

Hardwick, J.C., Ryan, S.E., Beaumont, E., Ardell, J.L., Southerland, E.M. Dynamic remodeling of the guinea pig intrinsic cardiac plexus induced by chronic myocardial infarction. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, in press, 2014.


Neurocardiology, Armour, J.A. and Ardell, J.L. Eds,  Oxford University Press. New York, NY, 1994.

Basic and Clinical Neurocardiology, Armour, J.A. and Ardell, J.L., Eds,  Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2004.


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