Electrical consequences of cardiac myocyte: fibroblast coupling

McArthur, Lisa, Chilton, Lisa, Smith, Godfrey L., and Nicklin, Stuart A. (2015) Electrical consequences of cardiac myocyte: fibroblast coupling. Biochemical Society Transactions, 43. pp. 513-518.

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Gap junctions are channels which allow electrical signals to propagate through the heart from the sinoatrial node and through the atria, conduction system and onwards to the ventricles, and hence are essential for co-ordinated cardiac contraction. Twelve connexin (Cx) proteins make up one gap junction channel, of which there are three main subtypes in the heart; Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45. In the cardiac myocyte, gap junctions are present mainly at the intercalated discs between neighbouring myocytes, and assist in rapid electrical conduction throughout the ventricular myocardium. Fibroblasts provide the structural skeleton of the myocardium and fibroblast numbers significantly increase in heart disease. Fibroblasts also express connexins and this may facilitate heterocellular electrical coupling between myocytes and fibroblasts in the setting of cardiac disease. Interestingly, cardiac fibroblasts have been demonstrated to increase Cx43 expression in experimental models of myocardial infarction and functional gap junctions between myocytes and fibroblasts have been reported. Therefore, in the setting of heart disease enhanced cardiac myocyte: fibroblast coupling may influence the electrical activity of the myocyte and contribute to arrhythmias.

Item ID: 39123
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1470-8752
Keywords: action potential, cardiac myocyte: fibroblast coupling, connexin, fibrosis, gap junction, ischaemia
Funders: British Heart Foundation (BHF)
Projects and Grants: BHF grant number FS/12/66/30003
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 01:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110201 Cardiology (incl Cardiovascular Diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 100%
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