Navigation Links
Sea squirt pacemaker gives new insight into evolution of the human heart
Date:8/2/2011

221.10.254.64

An international team of molecular scientists have discovered that star ascidians, also known as sea squirts, have pacemaker cells similar to that of the human heart. The research, published in the JEZ A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, may offer a new insight into the early evolution of the heart as star ascidians are one of the closest related invertebrates to mammals.

The research team, led by Annette Hellbach from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany, expected to find clusters of HCN cells, the markers for pacemakers, at either end of the Botryllus schlosseri ascidian heart.

"The Botryllus schlosseri heart beats from one end to the other, stops for a short while and then starts to beat in the other direction," said Hellbach. "It would make sense to have two pacemakers on both ends from which the heartbeat is initiated, however, we found several HCN positive cells spread along the cardiac tube."

The team interpreted this finding as an evolutionary precursor to the elaborate cardiac conduction system found in mammals which are made up of clusters of pacemaker cells located in defined spots.

The team found that in comparison the cells in the B. schlosseri heart appeared to be randomly distributed along the heart; however, as with mammals the HCN cells played a vital role in generating the heartbeat.

The team also found that the cells responded to the blocking chemicals Cilobradine and Zatebradine by decreasing the heartbeat as is found to be the case for mice. This increases the likelihood that the cells operate through a similar molecular function.

"Our study reveals that the presence of HCN channels and their role in generating the heartbeat is shared between B. schlosseri and mammals," said Hellbach. "This makes colonial ascidians such as B. schlosseri insightful models for studies on the origins and evolution of vertebrate innovations, such as the pacemaker."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sea squirt cells shed light on cancer development
2. The sea squirt offers hope for Alzheimers sufferers
3. New technology may prolong the life of implanted devices, from pacemakers to chemotherapy ports
4. A pacemaker for your brain
5. Energy-harvesting rubber sheets could power pacemakers, mobile phones
6. Towards a natural pacemaker
7. Fools gold gives scientists priceless insight into Earths evolution
8. New duck-billed dinosaur gives scientists clues to evolution of head ornamentation and provinciality
9. Simple test gives accurate prediction of ovulation to help women become pregnant
10. Space research gives birth to new ultrasound tools for health care in orbit, on Earth
11. Stevens Center for Science Writings gives Green Book Award to James Hansen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016  Today, the first day of American Heart ... develop a first of its kind workplace health solution ... In the first application of Watson ... ), and Welltok will create a new offering that ... analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface ... 31, 2015. --> --> ... percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. ... million, or $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period ...
(Date:1/25/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... International Airport, New York City , to help ... to enter the United States using passports ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The ... during January 2016. --> pilot testing of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 - New FDA action ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... July 22, 2016   - ... in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of ... has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... ceremony in late 2015 to mark their successful combined ... --> --> The ... Cell Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell Bank ... of Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen,s ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... EDISON, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 ... company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted ... BIO CEO & Investor Conference 2016, to be held ... and Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare ... on February 10-11, 2016. James Sapirstein ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Strasbourg, France ... --> Strasbourg, France , to the ... PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it acted as an ... unit in Strasbourg, France , to the ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member ...
Breaking Biology Technology: