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:11/16/2016)... SANTA CLARA, Calif. , Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... company enhancing user experience and security for consumer ... provider for the financial and retail industry, today ... more secure and convenient way to authenticate users ... now uses Sensory,s TrulySecure™ software which ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), a ... challenging operating environments, announced its results for the third ... conference call to discuss these results on November 15, ... Key Recent Accomplishments The ... Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to close ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once ... one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 ... Las Vegas . Winners ... each of the following categories: net square feet of paid ... The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... PARK, Calif. , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... up to $150 million from the National Institutes ... Diseases and the Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to ... and other non-vaccine pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the ... of preclinical product development services for candidate HIV-prevention ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the ... (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms of Amyloid beta ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. ... company focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced ... the treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at ... on Friday, December 9, 2016 in San ... results of both simple and complex measures of activities ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec 5, 2016 Research ... "Biomarkers - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... and their discovery using various -omics technologies such as proteomics and ... and new tests are also based on biomarker. Currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: