Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2009 Oct 21;97(8):2179-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.07.054.

Electrotonic coupling between human atrial myocytes and fibroblasts alters myocyte excitability and repolarization.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Atrial fibrosis has been implicated in the development and maintenance of atrial arrhythmias, and is characterized by expansion of the extracellular matrix and an increased number of fibroblasts (Fbs). Electrotonic coupling between atrial myocytes and Fbs may contribute to the formation of an arrhythmogenic substrate. However, the role of these cell-cell interactions in the function of both normal and diseased atria remains poorly understood. The goal of this study was to gain mechanistic insight into the role of electrotonic Fb-myocyte coupling on myocyte excitability and repolarization. To represent the system, a human atrial myocyte (hAM) coupled to a variable number of Fbs, we employed a new ionic model of the hAM, and a variety of membrane representations for atrial Fbs. Simulations elucidated the effects of altering the intercellular coupling conductance, electrophysiological Fb properties, and stimulation rate on the myocyte action potential. The results demonstrate that the myocyte resting potential and action potential waveform are modulated strongly by the properties and number of coupled Fbs, the degree of coupling, and the pacing frequency. Our model provides mechanistic insight into the consequences of heterologous cell coupling on hAM electrophysiology, and can be extended to evaluate these implications at both tissue and organ levels.

PMID:
19843450
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2764083
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (7)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk