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:2/7/2017)... 7, 2017 Ipsidy Inc. ( ... [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a provider of ... services, is pleased to announce the following changes as ... Effective January 31, 2017, Philip D. Beck ... and President.  An experienced payment industry professional and public ...
(Date:2/3/2017)...  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its Board of ... as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. Schlesinger will ... He is currently the Chair of the Department of Microbial ... Interface Biology at Ohio State University. "We are ... CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James O. Rubin ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... Fla. , Feb. 2, 2017   ... a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the development ... for the treatment of cancer and metastatic disease, ... scale-up and GMP manufacturing of a second clinical ... vaccine targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured vaccine ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Pharma and biotech consulting firm ... Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, Pennside Partners, GmbH, Mr. Perkins brings 14 years ... than a decade with leading market research firm, GfK. He began his pharma ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 22, 2017 ... ) today announced its financial results for the ... "Our annual 2016 financial results reflect continued ... earnings exceeded $700 million," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., ... financial results strengthen our ability to develop and ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" ... and operational results for the three months ended December 31, ... -based life sciences and diagnostics company that develops and ... ... continue to build on the commercial milestones achieved in fiscal ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences announced ... automated benchtop system for collecting intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that are shed ... Medicine Tri Conference (Tri-Con) Annual Meeting 2017 (February 19–24 San Francisco). , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: