Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
The findings published this month in Nature Medicine outlines the discovery of this fundamental physiological process that researchers hope will one day help design molecularly tailored medications that correct the pathophysiology.
Heart arrhythmias cause the heart to beat irregularly, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness and fainting, or in severe cases, sudden arrhythmic death. While many factors contribute to the development of arrhythmias, including genetics, scientists know that a common mechanism of cardiac arrhythmias is calcium overload in the heart, i.e. calcium-triggered arrhythmias that can lead to sudden death. The underlying mechanism of these calcium-triggered arrhythmias has remained a mystery for decades.
Using a combination of molecular biology, electrophysiology, and genetically engineering mice, scientists at the University of Calgary's and Alberta Health Services' Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta (Libin Institute)have discovered that a calcium-sensing-gate in the cardiac calcium release channel (ryanodine receptor) is responsible for initiation of calcium waves and calcium-triggered arrhythmias.
Utilizing a genetically modified mouse model they were able to manipulate the sensor and completely prevented calcium-triggered arrhythmias.
"The calcium-sensing- gate mechanism discovered here is an entirely novel concept with potential to shift our general understanding of ion channel gating, cardiac arrhythmogenesis, and the treatment of calcium-triggered arrhythmias," says SR Wayne Chen, PhD, the study's senior author and University of Calgary- Libin Institute researcher. "These findings open a new chapter of calcium signaling and the discovery fosters the possibilities of new drug interventions."
This work was supported by research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Cardiovascular / Cardiology category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Calgary. "How heart arrhythmia occurs." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 20 Jan. 2014. Web.
9 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271435>
University of Calgary. (2014, January 20). "How heart arrhythmia occurs." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271435.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.