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Cardiovasc Res. 1998 Aug;39(2):280-300.

Cultured adult cardiac myocytes: future applications, culture methods, morphological and electrophysiological properties.

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Department of Physiology, University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, UK.


Isolated adult cardiac myocytes maintained in primary culture have been used as a model of the adult myocardium for 20 years. With the recent advances and current interest in using molecular biological techniques to investigate cardiac physiology, culturing myocytes is becoming an increasingly important technique. Acutely isolated myocytes do not remain viable for the time needed for the changes in gene expression to occur, and therefore it is necessary to maintain myocytes in culture. The aims of this review are: (1) To describe a method for isolating and culturing myocytes in serum-free medium. This section is targeted at new researchers in the field, with particular emphasis on aspects of the isolation procedure which are important for optimising myocyte culture. (2) To review current knowledge of how contractile, electrophysiological and morphological properties of adult myocytes are preserved in culture. Over the past 5 to 10 years significant advances have been made in developing novel techniques which help maintain the in-vivo properties of myocytes in culture. Efficient methods for transporting exogenous genes and anti-sense oligonucleotides into adult myocytes are now available. We anticipate that in future these advances will make cultured myocytes more attractive for use in biophysical and molecular investigations of cardiac physiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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