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:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the company ... technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John ... Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit ... Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein ... dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um ... der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample ... molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in ... respectively, today announced the launch of a project to ... (NGS) testing panel. NSO has been ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling ... her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of ... board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016   MedyMatch Technology Ltd ., the ... intelligence, real-time decision support tools in the emergency room, announced ... 2016 Israeli Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) BioMed Conference. ... 15th National Life Sciences and Technology Week, and ... Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel . ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... ... need for blood donations in South Texas and across the nation is growing. , But ... blood donations are on the decline. In fact, donations across the country are at their ... Texas in the last four years alone. , There is no substitute for blood. , ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... -- Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry will ... ET before the United States House Committee on Science, Space ... in controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec has ... Trials in Brazil , Panama ...
Breaking Biology Technology: