Document Detail

Structural and functional coupling of cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16646588     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts form extensive networks in the heart, with numerous anatomical contacts between cells. Fibroblasts, obligatory components of the extracellular matrix, represent the majority of cells in the normal heart, and their number increases with aging and during disease. The myocyte network, coupled by gap junctions, is generally believed to be electrically isolated from fibroblasts in vivo. In culture, however, the heterogeneous cell types form functional gap junctions, which can provide a substrate for electrical coupling of distant myocytes, interconnected by fibroblasts only. Whether similar behavior occurs in vivo has been the subject of considerable debate. Recent electrophysiological, immunohistochemical, and dye-coupling data confirmed the presence of direct electrical coupling between the two cell types in normal cardiac tissue (sinoatrial node), and it has been suggested that similar interactions may occur in post-infarct scar tissue. Such heterogeneous cell coupling could have major implications on in vivo electrical impulse conduction and the transport of small molecules or ions in both the normal and pathological myocardium. This review illustrates that it would be wrong to adhere to a scenario of functional integration of the heart that does not allow for a potential active contribution of non-myocytes to cardiac electrophysiology, and proposes to focus further research on the relevance of non-myocytes for cardiac structure and function.
Patrizia Camelliti; Colin R Green; Peter Kohl
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Advances in cardiology     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0065-2326     ISO Abbreviation:  Adv Cardiol     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-05-01     Completed Date:  2006-07-06     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0270063     Medline TA:  Adv Cardiol     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  132-49     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Cells, Cultured
Fibroblasts / physiology*
Gap Junctions / metabolism
Heart / physiology*
Microscopy, Confocal
Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism,  physiology*
Sinoatrial Node / physiology

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