Navigation Links
A change of heart
Date:2/23/2012

San Diego, Calif. Beyond the personal tragedy of chronic alcoholism there is heartbreak in the biological sense, too. Scientists know severe alcoholism stresses the heart and that mitochondria, the cellular energy factories, are especially vulnerable to dysfunction. But they don't know the precise mechanism.

Now new experiments led by a team at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health in Albany, and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, may provide insights into possible modes of heart damage from alcohol. The teams will present their findings at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS), held Feb. 25-29 in San Diego, Calif.

Using a technique called electron microscopic tomography, the Albany group produced the first 3D images of mitochondria and discovered tiny tethers linking mitochondria to another cell compartment, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where calcium is stored. A clue about the role of these tethers was provided by collaborative experiments with the Philadelphia group. Normally mitochondria take up very little calcium but, as mitochondria get closer to the ER, calcium uptake increases. Calcium overload damages mitochondria, shutting down energy production and leading to cell death.

The researchers looked at calcium regulation and cell structure in the pumping chambers of two groups of laboratory rats to find clues to how hearts are damaged by alcohol consumption. One group of rats was healthy and one was fed alcohol for six months.

The 3D images the team produced clearly show that the mitochondria of alcohol-fed rats are disorganized. The primary focus of the team's ongoing analysis is the mitochondrial interface with the ER in particular, characterization of the length, number, and distribution of tethers, which could explain the observed dysfunction of heart mitochondria.

"We're hoping our ongoing 3D analysis, coupled with the functional information provided by our colleagues at Thomas Jefferson, will help answer the question of how alcohol causes heart disease," says biophysicist and lead Albany researcher Carmen Mannella, Ph.D. "If we can understand how chronic alcoholism disrupts fundamental functions such as calcium signaling, then hopefully that information can be used to design preventive or corrective therapies to save hearts and lives of those suffering from the disease of alcoholism."

The presentation, "SR-Mitochondrial ultrastructure in the heart of normal and ethanol-fed rats," is at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in the San Diego Convention Center, Room 31ABC. ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/7s4gkls


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Peat fires could accelerate climate change
2. As climate change increases forest fires, smoke forecasting could help protect public health
3. ChromaDex® Announces Management Changes
4. AAAS-SFU research: Chilling climate-change related news
5. AAAS-SFU research: Linking human evolution and climate change
6. Marine protected areas: changing climate could require change of plans
7. 4 new drugs will change prostate cancer care
8. Climate change threatens tropical birds
9. Time of year important in projections of climate change effects on ecosystems
10. Fish of Antarctica threatened by climate change
11. Detecting detrimental change in coral reefs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... York , April 19, 2017 ... as its vendor landscape is marked by the presence ... market is however held by five major players - ... Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the ... the leading companies in the global military biometrics market ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... the adulterants which pose the most likely threat to their products at the ... year. , IFT's annual food expo attracts over 20,000 attendees representing food ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... As Vice President, ... products including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP development. , Mr. ... previously held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, and as an ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading ... Smart Data Lake® (Anzo SDL) solution was named a finalist in the ... Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Awards. , Finalists represent the best products, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... a promising new medical device startup. Dan Parsley, angelMD’s SVP of Corporate Development, ... members, and this angelMD syndicate is part of Saranas’ recently announced $4 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: