The sinoatrial node performs its task as a cardiac impulse generator throughout the life of the organism, but this important function is not a constant. Rather, there are significant developmental changes in the expression and function of ion channels and other cellular elements, which lead to a postnatal slowing of heart rate and may be crucial to the reliable functioning of the node during maturation. In this review, we provide an overview of current knowledge regarding these changes, with the main focus placed on maturation of the ion channel expression profile. Studies on Na+ and pacemaker currents have shown that their contribution to automaticity is greater in the newborn than in the adult, but this age-dependent decrease is at least partially opposed by an increased contribution of L-type Ca2+ current. Whereas information regarding age-dependent changes in other transmembrane currents within the sinoatrial node are lacking, there are data on other relevant parameters. These include an increase in the nodal content of fibroblasts and in the area of nonexpression of connexin43, considered a molecular marker of nodal tissue. Although much remains to be done before a comprehensive view of the developmental biology of the node is available, important evidence in support of a molecular interpretation of developmental slowing of the intrinsic sinoatrial rate is beginning to emerge.
|Titolo:||Electrophysiology and pacemaker function of the developing sinoatrial node|
|Autori interni:||BARUSCOTTI, MIRKO (Primo)|
|Parole Chiave:||Calcium current; Cardiac pacemaker; Development; Sodium current|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1152/ajpheart.00750.2007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|