BACKGROUND:Translation of preclinical findings could benefit from a simple, reproducible, high throughput human model to study myocardial signaling. Alpha-1A-adrenergic receptors (ARs) are expressed at very low levels in the human heart, and it is unknown if they function. OBJECTIVES:To develop a high throughput human myocardial slice culture model, and to test the hypothesis that alpha-1A- ARs are functional in the human heart. METHODS:Cores of LV free wall 8 mm diameter were taken from 52 hearts (18 failing and 34 nonfailing). Slices 250 μm thick were cut with a Krumdieck apparatus and cultured using a rotating incubation unit. RESULTS:About 60 slices were cut from each LV core, and a typical study could use 96 slices. Myocyte morphology was maintained, and diffusion into the slice center was rapid. Slice viability was stable for at least 3 days in culture by ATP and MTT assays. The beta-AR agonist isoproterenol stimulated phospholamban phosphorylation, and the alpha-1A-AR agonist A61603 stimulated ERK phosphorylation, with nanomolar EC50 values in slices from both failing and nonfailing hearts. Strips cut from the slices were used to quantify activation of contraction by isoproterenol, A61603, and phenylephrine. The slices supported transduction by adenovirus. CONCLUSIONS:We have developed a simple, high throughput LV myocardial slice culture model to study signaling in the human heart. This model can be useful for translational studies, and we show for the first time that the alpha-1A-AR is functional in signaling and contraction in the human heart.