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J Physiol. 2015 Mar 1;593(5):1047-63. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.274712. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Calcium signalling in developing cardiomyocytes: implications for model systems and disease.

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Institute for Experimental Medical Research, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, 0424, Oslo, Norway; K. G. Jebsen Cardiac Research Center and Center for Heart Failure Research, University of Oslo, 0316, Oslo, Norway.


Adult cardiomyocytes exhibit complex Ca(2+) homeostasis, enabling tight control of contraction and relaxation. This intricate regulatory system develops gradually, with progressive maturation of specialized structures and increasing capacity of Ca(2+) sources and sinks. In this review, we outline current understanding of these developmental processes, and draw parallels to pathophysiological conditions where cardiomyocytes exhibit a striking regression to an immature state of Ca(2+) homeostasis. We further highlight the importance of understanding developmental physiology when employing immature cardiomyocyte models such as cultured neonatal cells and stem cells.

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