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:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... This month Quorum Review IRB ... simplifies research studies, accelerates study startup, and improves participant engagement. Developed by ... the first and only IRB-integrated eConsent solution . , “Our mission at Quorum ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... rebrand and a name change to Fluence Analytics. , Fluence Analytics ... of polymer and biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and R&D applications. The company’s patented ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... , April 27, 2017  Kinexum, a distinguished resource ... today announces the appointment of Thomas C. Seoh ... ("Zan") Fleming, M.D., Kinexum founder, who becomes Executive Chairman ... to Kinexum clients. Thomas Seoh ... the Kinexum mission and lead the firm,s remarkable team ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... Centennial, CO (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... test offerings were added to its extensive test menu: Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) ... that time, LABS was only able to offer NAT screening for blood donors under ...
Breaking Biology Technology: