Probing local ROS distributions and calcium signaling microdomains in cardiac myocyes after myocardial infarction
After a heart attack some of the heart tissue has died (myocardial infarction) and the heart is left scarred. The remaining tissue and cells will grow and adapt but overall the heart pump function is weakened and the heart rhythm is also affected with sometimes deadly rhythm disturbances. This phenomenon is referred to as remodeling and better knowledge may give insights on how to slow or reverse this deleterious process and improve health. It is important to note that the heart function results from a remarkable coordination between processes happening at different scales: from the full organ to areas inside the cells no larger than a few micron wide. Our lab focused on the contribution of these small regions (microdomain) and showed that they lead the cellular behavior in the healthy heart. In disease, these regions are dramatically affected in their structure and they seem notably unable to handle two key chemical messengers that are calcium and oxidants. Unlike calcium, it is very challenging to quantify oxidants in cells. To tackle this issue, we developed an innovative approach based on luminescent nanoprobes. These probes will help us dissect the heart function at the micron scale in health and disease. Our study will provide an original insight in heart remodeling and may pave the way for developing novel treatments.