Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Detailed insight into failing heart cells gained using new nano technique

Date:
February 27, 2010
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Researchers have been able to see how heart failure affects the surface of an individual heart muscle cell in minute detail, using a new nanoscale scanning technique. The findings may lead to better design of beta-blockers, the drugs that can slow the development of heart failure, and to improvements in current therapeutic approaches to treating heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Researchers have been able to see how heart failure affects the surface of an individual heart muscle cell in minute detail, using a new nanoscale scanning technique developed at Imperial College London. The findings may lead to better design of beta-blockers, the drugs that can slow the development of heart failure, and to improvements in current therapeutic approaches to treating heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Heart failure is a progressive and serious condition in which the heart is unable to supply adequate blood flow to meet the body's needs. Hormones such as adrenaline, which are activated by the body in an attempt to stimulate the weak heart, eventually produce further damage and deterioration. Symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty in exercising and swollen feet.

In the new study, published in the journal Science and funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Leducq Foundation, researchers were able to analyse individual regions on the surface of the heart muscle cell in unprecedented detail, using live nanoscale microscopy.

They used a new technique called scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM), which gives an image of the surface of the cardiac muscle cell at more detailed levels than those possible using conventional live microscopy. This enabled the researchers to see fine structures such as minute tubes (t-tubules), which carry electrical signals deep into the core of the cell. They could also see that the muscle cell surface is badly disrupted in heart failure.

There are two types of receptors for adrenaline. The first, beta1AR, strongly stimulates the heart to contract and it can also induce cell damage in the long term. The second, beta2AR, can slightly stimulate contraction but it also has special protective properties. For the study, the researchers combined SICM with new chemical probes which give fluorescent signals when beta1AR or beta2AR is activated.

They found that the beta2AR receptors are normally anchored in the t-tubules, but in those cells damaged by heart failure they change location and move into the same space as beta1AR receptors. The researchers believe that this altered distribution of receptors might affect the beta2AR receptors' ability to protect cells, and lead to more rapid degeneration of the failing heart.

One of the most important categories of drugs for slowing the development of heart failure are the beta-blockers, which prevent adrenaline from affecting the heart cells by targeting the beta receptors. The new finding increases understanding of what happens to the two receptors in heart failure and could lead to the design of improved beta-blockers. It may eventually help resolve an existing debate about whether it is better to block the beta2AR receptors as well as the beta1AR.

Dr Julia Gorelik, corresponding author of the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: "Our new technique means we can get a real insight into how individual cells are disrupted by heart failure. Using our new nanoscale live-cell microscopy we can scan the surface of heart muscle cells to much greater accuracy than has been possible before and to see tiny structures that affect how the cells function.

"Through understanding what's happening on this tiny scale, we can ultimately build up a really detailed picture of what's happening to the heart during heart failure and long term, this should help us to tackle the disease. The main question for our future research will be to understand whether drugs can prevent the beta2-AR from moving in the cell and how this might help us to fight heart failure," added Dr Gorelik.

For the study, the researchers looked at single living cardiac muscle cells in a culture dish, taken from healthy or failing rat hearts. They stimulated the beta1AR and beta2AR receptors using drugs applied via nanopipette inside the t-tubules on the heart muscle cell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Viacheslav O. Nikolaev, Alexey Moshkov, Alexander R. Lyon, Michele Miragoli, Pavel Novak, Helen Paur, Martin J. Lohse, Yuri E. Korchev, Sian E. Harding, and Julia Gorelik. β2-Adrenergic Receptor Redistribution in Heart Failure Changes cAMP Compartmentation. Science, Published online February 25 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1185988

Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Detailed insight into failing heart cells gained using new nano technique." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225142449.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2010, February 27). Detailed insight into failing heart cells gained using new nano technique. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225142449.htm
Imperial College London. "Detailed insight into failing heart cells gained using new nano technique." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225142449.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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