Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Mechanism For Cardiac Arrhythmia Discovered

Date:
September 19, 2008
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Virus infections can cause cardiac arrhythmia. Scientists have now discovered the molecular mechanism. They have demonstrated that the receptor which the virus uses to infect heart cells is normally necessary for regular heart beat. Likewise, when the receptor is absent, arrhythmia occurs. The researchers assume that the virus infection and the autoimmune disease can block the receptor which disrupts the heart's normal rhythm.

It has long been thought that virus infections can cause cardiac arrhythmia. But why has not been understood. Ulrike Lisewski, Dr. Yu Shi, Michael Radke and Professor Michael Gotthardt of the Max Delbrόck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have now discovered the molecular mechanism.

Related Articles


The researchers demonstrated that the receptor which the virus uses to infect heart cells is normally necessary for regular heart beat in mice. Likewise, when the receptor is absent or non-functioning, arrhythmia occurs. They assume that both the virus infection and the autoimmune disease can block the receptor which, in turn, disrupts the heart's normal rhythm.

The heart consists of two ventricles and two atria. In order to beat correctly and to pump blood through the body, specialized heart fibres generate electric signals that control the heart beat. Cardiac arrhythmia occurs when these signals are not correctly generated or forwarded. There, a receptor, which scientists call CAR, plays an important role.

CAR stands for Coxsackievirus-Adenovirus-Receptor. It is embedded in specific cell-cell-contacts (tight junctions) of the specialized heart fibres. CAR was discovered as the critical protein responsible for virus entry during infection with Coxsackie and Adenoviruses. Its role in the adult heart was previously unknown.

To investigate CAR's task in a healthy organism, the MDC-scientists switched off the CAR-gene in adult mice. As a result, the rodents could no longer produce the receptors and developed cardiac arrhythmia. "That is an interesting observation because these special cell-cell-contacts, the tight junctions, have not been connected to arrhythmia so far", Professor Gotthardt says.

A detailed analysis of the animals showed that the transfer of electric signals from the atria to the ventricles does not work properly. "When CAR is missing, the signal can not be passed on and the heart does not beat properly," Dr. Shi says.

Professor Gotthardt now wants to investigate whether CAR is blocked in patients with arrhythmia. "However, it does not always have to be connected to a virus infection," he says. "The body's own antibodies directed against CAR could cause the disease as well."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lisewski et al. The tight junction protein CAR regulates cardiac conduction and cell-cell communication. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2008; DOI: 10.1084/jem.20080897

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New Mechanism For Cardiac Arrhythmia Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918101529.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2008, September 19). New Mechanism For Cardiac Arrhythmia Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918101529.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New Mechanism For Cardiac Arrhythmia Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918101529.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) — A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins