Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Afib Triggered By A Cell That Resembles A Pigment-producing Skin Cell

Date:
December 29, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
The source and mechanisms underlying the abnormal heart beats that initiate atrial fibrillation (Afib), the most common type of abnormal heart beat, have not been well determined. Researchers have now identified a population of cells that are like pigment-producing cells in the skin in the atria of the heart and pulmonary veins of mice and humans, and uncovered evidence in mice that these cells contribute to Afib.

The source and mechanisms underlying the abnormal heart beats that initiate atrial fibrillation (Afib), the most common type of abnormal heart beat, have not been well determined.

Related Articles


However, a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has now identified a population of cells that are like pigment producing cells in the skin (melanocytes) in the atria of the heart and pulmonary veins of mice and humans and uncovered evidence in mice that these cells contribute to Afib.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Initial analysis by the group, led by Vickas Patel and Jonathan Epstein, identified a population of cells in the atrium and pulmonary veins of mice and humans that expressed the protein DCT, which is involved in making the skin pigment melanin.

Further work showed that Dct-expressing cells in the mouse heart were distinct from both heart muscle cells and skin melanocytes, although they could conduct electrical currents, which are important for coordinated contraction of the heart. Adult mice lacking Dct were susceptible to induced and spontaneous Afib and the melanocyte-like cells in their heart exhibited abnormal conduction of electrical currents in vitro.

As mice lacking both melanocyte-like cells in the heart and Dct failed to develop either induced or spontaneous Afib, the authors suggest that dysfunctional melanocyte-like cells in the heart may be a trigger of Afib in humans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Levin et al. Melanocyte-like cells in the heart and pulmonary veins contribute to atrial arrhythmia triggers. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009; DOI: 10.1172/JCI39109

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Afib Triggered By A Cell That Resembles A Pigment-producing Skin Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012225807.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, December 29). Afib Triggered By A Cell That Resembles A Pigment-producing Skin Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012225807.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Afib Triggered By A Cell That Resembles A Pigment-producing Skin Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012225807.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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