Navigation Links
Slowing the racing heart

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago explain in the May 11 issue of Circulation Research how an enzyme acts on the heart's pacemaker to slow the rapid beating of the heart's "fight-or-flight" reaction to adrenaline.

A single cell in the upper right chamber is responsible for setting the pace of the beating heart, triggering its neighbor cells to beat. In the human heart, one cell -- the pacemaker cell -- beats faster or slower to induce a rhythmic heartbeat that varies to increase or decrease the blood flow to the body as we eat, sleep or exercise.

"Disturbances of pacemaker control are common in heart diseases. When the heartbeat becomes non-rhythmic and chaotic, it can result in fatal arrhythmias and stroke," said R. John Solaro, UIC distinguished university professor and principal investigator of the study.

Current treatment of arrhythmia requires destruction of tissue surrounding a chaotic pacemaker, followed by insertion of a mechanical pacemaker that can regulate the heartbeat.

"Understanding the molecular regulation of the heart's pacemaker opens the possibility of less drastic treatment options, including drug interventions," said Solaro, who is also director of the center for cardiovascular research and head of physiology and biophysics at UIC.

Solaro worked with Yunbo Ke, UIC research assistant professor of physiology and biophysics and first author of the paper, and colleagues in England at Oxford and Manchester on characterizing and isolating the pacemaker cell.

The UIC researchers demonstrated that an enzyme called Pak 1, present in high concentrations in the heart, signals depression in the action of adrenaline and adrenaline-like chemicals on the pacemaker cell, playing an important role in slowing down the heart rate.

"The enzyme works through calcium and potassium channels that we know to be key players in the generation and regulation of the pacemaker activity," said Ke.

"Although adrenaline and other mechanisms that accelerate the heart rate have been well studied, mechanisms that might act as a brake are poorly understood," said Solaro.

"Identification of this previously unknown molecular mechanism for slowing the heartbeat may offer new avenues of diagnosis, drug design and treatment of many common heart diseases," said Solaro.

"Further, now that we know something of how this enzyme works in the pacemaker cell, we may discover it is involved in the regulation of other processes, particularly in the brain, where it is also highly expressed," added Ke.
'"/>

Source:University of Illinois at Chicago


Related biology news :

1. Getting old? Slowing down? Blame inefficient mitochondria
2. Tracing the formation of long-term memory
3. Tracing broken wiring in stroke patients
4. Single stem cells from bone heal a broken heart
5. Global study shows all tobacco bad for the heart
6. New study shows antibiotic may protect the heart
7. Getting to the heart of the heart
8. How fish mend a broken heart
9. Hawaiian treasure, macadamia nuts good for the heart

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/16/2017)... March 16, 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution ... Used combined in one ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , Australia , March 9, ... study data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop ... Andreas Fouras , was invited to deliver the ... pulmonary medicine. This globally recognised event brings together leaders ... share the latest developments in lung imaging. ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... -- Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence company, today announces ... to uncover insights to support its reporting, help direct future campaigns, ... leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics social listening and ... understanding of the topics and issues that are a priority for ... "Until ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... entered into license agreements with Nippon Shinyaku, Co., Ltd. ... (cytarabine and daunorubicin liposome injection), or CPX-351, in ... terms of the agreements, Nippon Shinyaku will receive exclusive ... Japan in return for an ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... The ... to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and ReachMD , the ... exclusive content to ReachMD learners. , The partnership, which launched in the ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... "Surging application of gesture control features in ... expected to drive the growth of gesture recognition and ... is expected to be worth USD 18.98 billion by ... and 2022. The touchless sensing market is expected to ... a CAGR of 17.44% between 2017 and 2022. Gesture ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... (March 29, ... Mexico has been approved as an active member of the Mexican Direct ... among distributers and consumers in relationship marketing. This professional organization fosters loyal and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: