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NEWS

Prof. Clive Orchard

School of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, UK

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM

Conference room Querzoli - LENS - via Nello Carrara 1 - Sesto Fiorentino (Florence)

Published on-line at 01:09:41 PM on Thursday, October 17th, 2013

T-tubule function in cardiac ventricular myocytes

The t-tubules of cardiac ventricular myocytes are invaginations of the cell membrane that form a complex network within the cell.

The t-tubules of cardiac ventricular myocytes are invaginations of the cell membrane that form a complex network within the cell.  A few years ago, we developed a technique to detach the t-tubules physically and functionally from the surface membrane (detubulation), allowing us to investigate their function.  Using this technique we have shown that t-tubules are not simple invaginations of the surface membrane; instead, they form a specialised micro-domain which carries a disproportionately high percentage of many of the trans-sarcolemmal Ca fluxes associated with excitation-contraction coupling. Membrane currents at the t-tubules also appear to be differentially regulated from those at the surface membrane. This specialisation, and the localisation of the t-tubular ion flux pathways adjacent to sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca release channels, means that the t-tubules play a central role in excitation-contraction coupling and its regulation, and in the electrical activity of the heart. However t-tubule structure is labile and changes in pathological conditions such as HF, in which changes in t-tubule structure and function, including local signalling, contribute to changes in cell function. 

For further informations, please contact Dr Leonardo Sacconi.